2012 Google Updates You May Have Missed

Google makes more changes than most publishers realize. If one of the algorithm changes impacts a website, publishers are apt to realize. It’s still important to keep an eye out for changes to the Google algorithm, even if past changes haven’t helped or hindered your website. These changes often highlight what Google considers relevant to their audience, and understanding this mindset can help you better optimize your website.

Early this year, Google launched an algorithm change that devalues websites with not enough content above the fold. Google reportedly made this change because users would complain about clicking on search results and seeing a lot of ads at the top of the screen. These users were forced to scroll through the onslaught of ads to get to any real content.

This algorithmic change was expected to affect less than 1% of global searches. However, if your websites was negatively impacted, Google recommends considering “how your web pages use the area above-the-fold and whether the content on the page is obscured or otherwise hard for users to discern quickly.” Google also recommends using its Browser Size tool to analyze your website.

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At the end of February, Google announced 40 search updates and a new Panda update. One major part of this update involves how Google evaluates links. The search giant didn’t specifically say what the change was, but did mention that it has turned off a link analysis method that has been used for several years.

Most recently, on March 23rd, Google announced another Panda update via Twitter. The tweet was the only indication the company has given on the details. About 1.6% of search results will be impacted by the change.

Have you seen any changes to your search traffic recently? Have you been impacted by Panda since its initial rollout? Please share your story below.

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