Yesterday, Google announced 40 changes in the ranking algorithm. The most important changes were another Panda update and changes in the way Google evaluates links. How do these changes affect the rankings of your web pages?
Google announced the following:
“Panda update. This launch refreshes data in the Panda system, making it more accurate and more sensitive to recent changes on the web.”
This sounds similar to the Panda update that Google released in January. That update was described as a ‘data refresh’. That means that Google probably didn’t add new ranking signals.
New backlink evaluation
Google’s announcement about the new backlink evaluation leaves much room for speculation:
“Link evaluation. We often use characteristics of links to help us figure out the topic of a linked page. We have changed the way in which we evaluate links; in particular, we are turning off a method of link analysis that we used for several years. We often re-architect or turn off parts of our scoring in order to keep our system maintainable, clean and understandable.”
Google does not go into more detail and it’s hard to tell what the exact method of link analysis that they used for several years is. It’s likely that they probably turned off a method that is abused by many spammers.
Many more changes
In addition to the changes above, Google announced many more changes: more coverage for related searches, a tweak to the categorizer for expanded sitelinks, less duplication in expanded sitelinks, more accurate detection of official pages, improved local results and more.
What does this mean to the rankings of your web pages?
Google is working hard on eliminating spam from the result pages. If you use spammy techniques to promote your website, chances are that your rankings will drop.
The backlink evaluation change indicates that Google found a way to deal with manipulated backlinks. If you participate in automated linking schemes, your website might get into trouble.
If you want to get lasting results on Google, you have to use ethical search engine optimization methods that play by the rules. Do not use automated linking systems but try to get high quality backlinks to your website.