Updates have been confirmed now for Google’s Panda system with Panda 3.3 beginning February of 2011 as well as a total of 40 other changes. Changes include a number of adjustments to link evaluations, search ranking, and many other issues that directly affect search marketers.
Similar changes occurred with Google’s Panda 3.2 of January 2011. Panda has been evolving since its induction in 2011.
The most recent changes include the following:
Google is tweaking their link evaluation process, discarding one link analysis method that they have used for years and replacing it with a new analysis process. This change is not entirely unexpected as Google has been in the constant process of adjusting their system and renewing it in order to keep it clean, understandable, and relevant. But some would say, to keep your ranking as low as possible in favor of PPC.
Local Search Results
Google has launched a new link evaluation signal, codename Venice, for ranking local search results. Google states that Venice “improves the triggering of Local Universal results by relying more on the ranking of our main search results as a signal.” Google feels that traditional algorithmic ranking aspects now figure more importantly in the local search result rankings.
The move towards more SEO involvement in local rankings has been increasing since the 2010 launch of Places Search. Panda 3.3’s chance to local searches is indicative that this trend is continuing. Google states that their new process is more sensitive to local queries and documents requested by its users.
Overall Updates to Google’s System
Other general improvements were implemented with Panda 3.3 including:
• The launch of “Semicolon”, a “Site:” query update.
• New languages and updates to foreign language synonyms.
• The launch of “rich snippets” internationally, improving e-commerce through more relevant product search results, highlighting of product prices, availability, ratings, and reviews.
• Greater coverage for related searches.
The overall goal of the Panda update was that it “refreshes data in the Panda system, making it more accurate and more sensitive to recent changes on the web.”
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