Google Panda 3.3 March 2012 Update – The Future Of SEO?

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google panda 3.3So google roll’s out another Panda update aimed to make search better, control even more of their already growing % of internet usage after facebook now “controls peoples lives” and the average internet user spends more time on facebook than they do google.

And after completely failing with google plus and their old attempt at social marketing with the complete flop of buzz they now turn to trying to “restore the serps” with another panda update.

But as always with anything google does they hire some technical jargon writer to put out their update information encoded and surrounded by complicated words, formulas and really revealing nothing!

Even worse this time though they are even contradicting themselves when it comes to how they now weigh anchor text with the following 2 statements (official site here)…

Tweaks to handling of anchor text. [launch codename "PC"] This month we turned off a classifier related to anchor text (the visible text appearing in links). Our experimental data suggested that other methods of anchor processing had greater success, so turning off this component made our scoring cleaner and more robust.

And then you go on to say…

Better interpretation and use of anchor text. We’ve improved systems we use to interpret and use anchor text, and determine how relevant a given anchor might be for a given query and website.”

Confusing? i thought so too!

So anyway Ive been busy listening on the underground SEO chat rooms with massive discussions about how peoples sites have been reacting since this update and here is the low down….

In a nutshell the things that have been hit are those high PR network such as ALN (which focused on medium [at best] quality content being pumped around domains purchased JUST for the sake of being able to post more in the network) and BMR (which focused more on quality content as each article had to be unique but with an average post being only 150 words hiring people as cheap as possible to write half assed articles full of grammatical errors and hardly readable it wasn’t surprising either).

Overall it looks like this has been done completely manually! Rather than with a search alogo coded in to do it automatically.

And if you have had sites in these networks or any other High PR network and you haven’t yet had it de-indexed then watch out as I’m sure it will happen soon enough!

But why haven’t all the domains been hit?

Put simply why would they? There are still 1000’s of people using these networks, still posting content and for now still climbing higher in the serps than they have ever been able to before.

If they were to de-index every domain then it would simply mean that they would stop everyone for now until a new network popped up and then they would have to re-do all that work again to get all of the links and penalize that one.

This way they are the one’s pulling the trigger and they choose when they want to pull it!

As a result of this…

We now know that google is actively penalizing sites for the links they have which before was a complete myth and normally just an effect of the sandbox to “test the waters” (will cover this in another post).

Which goes completely against what google has been actively saying it will never do before but now it seems they have completely switched sides.

NOW YOU CAN PENALIZE YOUR COMPETITION!

So although i personally don’t condone or recommend doing this because ethically it is so wrong if you suddenly notice a load of links coming in that you haven’t made and are just too good or un-natural looking then this is probably what your competitor is doing to you!

How do they penalize you?

Simple put there are 2 methods they use *(this is just for information)!

1st. Start building backlinks to your site using the networks like aln and bmr that have already been hit once and hit hard and will more than likely get hit again very very soon too resulting in anyone who uses them receiving a penalty unless something drastic changes.

2nd. This has kinda always worked but never as easily as now! You basically use your own network of sites that are preferably high PR and so have Authority in googles currently naive eyes to build backlinks to your competitor, wait until they are indexed and then delete them ALL and re-index the pages/domain without their links there. Nothing says your website sucks like 100’s or 1000’s of authority sites then removing your links especially all at once!

So where do we stand now and what’s the future of SEO?

Unfortunately it’s really hard to know for sure but here is my take on things…

Personally i feel this is a way for google to get rid of the small time marketers, just rank the big brands,the true authority websites and the websites that grow virally or naturally rather than faking it.

Right now when you use google to search for things lots of even longtail keywords are bringing up the same sites in the results no matter how you re-word. But I’m not talking about just 1 or 2, I’m talking about all 10 or 5 or more sites being exactly the same.

Aside from that it’s the older site that haven’t been touched for months, that have had NO backlinks built in even sometimes years and overall are actually of a lower quality than the websites that were ranking which obviously had a lot of money put into them for the SEO and so had good content that gave the visitor what they wanted and directed them in the right way (even if it was to a product or service).

So how do we survive?

Most people Ive talked to are currently moving into local seo and business services for offline clients now because they are either waiting for the next update to see how things turn out or b). they are adapting their business models!

Me personally I’m just adapting and actually started doing this about 3 months ago so had a slight head start but now I’m really powering forward with it!

If your going to build things for yourself to earn you money and not work for others then you need to focus on the following…

Not relying on Google!

-You can still build links and try to rank but it can’t be the foundation to you succeeding or not) and if you are then please BUY an aged authority domain so you can’t get hit as easily!

Work on OTHER Traffic sources!

- Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Article Directorys (with good articles) and web 2.0 sites, Flickr etc!

Make GOOD Content!

- This has been the foundation of any site before and if you have a good site with good content people will share it! So make sure it is sharable too!

Make a Product or Service Instead!

- Instead or promoting a product via SEO move your business model so you actually own the product or service and promote it!

Open up an Affiliate Program!

- Affiliates drive traffic no matter if your ranking 1st or 1000th for your keywords so get them on board and sending you traffic to make sales!

Build a List!

- Many internet marketers do this but only in the IM field so branch out and use it in other industry’s, then if you get hit then you have something you can still use to make money with!

This ended up being a fairly long post so sorry for that but it’s something i feel really strongly about and have personally been effected by on a number of sites!

As always leave your thoughts below and let me know how you have been effected by this google panda 3.3 update!

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  1. Brilliant post. couldn’t agree more!
    i had a few sites that took me time ,tantrums and sweat to make me money and get ranked. a couple of these were emd’s in micro niches.
    i got slammed by google practically overnight, lost visitors and money.
    one site was a local classified ads. i had to refund money as people had noticed my site wasn’t appearing for the key words i promised.
    now im at a lose end and starting from scratch. iv’e learned not to trust the search engines and to try IM from a different angle!!

    • Lewis Turner says:

      Exactly Nathan,

      Especially if your relying solely on SEO traffic then your business is really under someone else’s control! That someone being GOOGLE!

      Ok, SEO can make you VERY rich… BUT overall it’s a pain in the ass when your site falls as a result of their new changes.

      Lewis

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