The latest update to be confirmed is that Google Panda (one of Google’s most important algorithm changes) is now part of their core product update.
What does that mean?
For people who work in SEO this will be seen as a pretty significant change because it means that Google will no longer announce the Panda updates; they will happen continuously as the search engine evolves.
What is Panda anyway?
Panda is an algorithm update that was first launched in Feb 2011 and was a huge deal, because for the first time Google demoted sites it believed were low quality and promoted sites it believed were high quality. Overall I think it’s a good thing. If you publish original, high quality content that is of genuine use to your audience you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Panda is there to penalise sites who copy content (duplicate content), publish content that has no real value (thin content) or produce generally low quality content such as blogging every day because you think you need to, but actually the depth and explanation is missing from the piece.
To read up on each of the algorithm changes check out this cheat sheet by Moz.
A little bit of background for you…
What is an algorithm update?
Just like other businesses release improvements to their products, Google also does this in the form of an algorithm update. These updates are Google’s way of improving search for a better user experience.
Significant updates include…
Google have a penchant for calling each of their updates animal names. There has been Hummingbird, Penguin, and most recently Panda. Moz has an exhaustive list of updates that any SEO professional worth their salts keeps an eye on. Find their Google Algorithm Change History here.
Keep an eye on the Moz blog referenced in this post if you are keen on SEO. And check back here if there’s something you don’t understand as we try to explain the technical stuff in plain English with no jargon!