The world of SEO after the Google spring updates – winners and losers
Compared to my last post, this should make easier reading. The dust has started to settle after the last major Google updates and at least we know what’s generally going on, which is a step in the right direction from the chaos that followed the 3 major changes to the search algorithm that caused so much shifting in the SEO landscape and the whole of online marketing.
It has to be said it is quite rare for several major updates to be released at the same time – normally we got used to one every few years, but the recent developments have broken this pattern – 3 major updates within a month or so is certainly new in the world of constant change that SEOers have to work in. Also, for previous changes updates were first implemented in the US, then Central and Eastern Europe, whereas this time around changes affected sites regardless of geographical location , all at once.
Matt Cutts himself came forward to apologise for some inaccuracies that affected ‘innocent’ sites, which, at least in theory, should have recovered by now. A site of a friend of mine that was initially hit hard by the Penguin update – traffic went from around 200 visitors a day to about 10 (!) – has regained most of its rankings. Apart from removing some site descriptions that we thought might be seen as ‘keyword stuffing’ – although it was merely a description of what to expect on the site – nothing else was done as far as the content or link profile are concerned. So keyword stuffing out of the way, plus one major site wide link removed and rankings came back about 3 weeks after the initial disaster.
At the end of March, Google deindexed many blog networks and as a result many web sites who used to rely on networks and purchase links experienced dramatic losses in rankings and implicitly traffic. Notably, private networks, where outsiders (spies working for Google :)) couldn’t get in and buy links, were left untouched, at least for now. Then, the latest Panda and Penguin updates finished the job which saw the digital marketing landscape significantly reshape. Among the confusion, it took almost a month for some conclusions to surface. So what now?
Brand-centred marketing, careful (mostly on site) SEO and social media. These are the most likely solutions for online marketing specialists. And of course PPC – after all it seems this is what Google wants and that’s why affiliate sites are loosing ground – sooner or later businesses will have to consider paid search as an alternative to SEO and affiliate marketing if these continue to become unpredictable.
So conclusion – cleaner SEO! It’s as simple as that, more to follow.