Google strikes again! This time the target is the poor quality sites with"Exact Match Domains." They have to lose the favor of Google, rank low in PR or may be some would completely lose out. Though this came as a rude shock to people who make their money mostly from affiliate marketing by building mini sites, yet it was no surprise. For more than a year Google had been into a clean up drive with rapid algo changes.
Probably you have heard the hustle already. In September this year, the search engine giant has introduced this new update. To be very specific, Matt Cutts of the Google team on 28th September broke the news to the world with a tweet. He heads Google's web spam fighting team.
The EMD Update
It's a new filter that is supposed to push down low-quality sites from view and to ensure that they stay there till their quality improves. Well, what are these sites? Before this update, it was very easy to rank for an important key phrase if it exactly matched the domain name. With this advantage, sites with very little content, say with 2 to 5 posts of 500 words each, were able to outrank authority sites in the same niche with hundreds of articles. It was an obvious flaw in the algorithm and affiliate marketers used to take full benefit of it. But not any more. Following are the 3 essential elements of this filter known so far -
Sites with EMD with low quality lose the favor
They would be judged for PR based on content.
It's a periodical filter, so you have to keep doing it regularly
The PANDA Update
This update emerges from Google's latest drive against low quality spun content and spam. In the past, some marketer used automation tools and software to mass produce content. This content was used to get numerous back links from content sites pointing at their domain or sales pages. Their main aim was to gain higher page rank than decades old authority sites in the shortest possible time, so that they can push up their small sites to page 1 in different search engines to have access to organic traffic. The value of an inbound link was equated to a vote in favor by the old Google algo, but quality of the link originating site matters now. The Panda update made considerable changes to the old method of PR evaluation. The new method attributed more value to the following-
Content which provides expertise as per the industry standard
No outdated or duplicate content
No spun content
Content free from spelling and grammatical mistakes
Valuable content in comparison with similar web pages
Do surfers dislike or complain - "How much time they spend on the page?"
Content which engages socially - look and formatting, pictures, video etc.
Length of content should be adequate
Inbound links must point from quality sites/pages only
However, these two are not the only ones. On 24th April 2012, another update called Penguin was introduced. The objective was same, cleaning up spam. It targeted sites that violated Google's guidelines. Those who used cloaking, keyword stuffing on web pages and used link schemes to point back massive number of tailored links were the hardest hit.
It's better that somebody is doing a through cleaning work. The World Wide Web is a great place and nobody should be allowed to pump junk into it. We should never spam nor allow somebody to spam us.
Curry is a freelance writer that loves to share tips pertaining to tech in general.