How will the New ‘Softer’ Google Panda Update Affect Small Businesses Rankings?
Google’s initial launch of its search engine optimisation algorithm update 'Panda' back in 2011 caused a number of problems for small businesses.
The whole point behind Google’s Panda update was well intentioned, however, it had the unintended side effect of being bad for small business’ search rankings. The Panda algorithm was particularly hard on small businesses when compared to some of the bigger retailers out there. The larger retailers seemed to benefit the most from the Google Panda update whilst the smaller businesses tended to suffer, even if they were offering services that were just as good and as well priced. This effect was especially true for product related searches.
The same thing has also happened to small business websites offering local services. What tended to happen was that the national companies would always rank higher than a local company, even if the national company wasn’t offering their services in that local area. This has proved to be a serious problem for small businesses when it comes to product and services related searches.
Now the whole point of Google Panda was well intentioned, to really crack down on thin content sites that weren’t really offering much, if any, value to users. It also had the aim of cracking down on content farms, which meant that low authority sites tended to get hit the hardest. Seeing as small businesses tend to fall into the low authority ranking they got hit hard, and often times unfairly as I’ve already mentioned above.
Now there is news that there is going to be a refresh of the Panda algorithm. A supposedly “kinder, softer Panda,” has been announced by Google’s Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts. The point of the new algorithm update is to improve upon the negative impacts that Panda has had on many small businesses. Optimism for this is high and so it should be because if the algorithm update is successful then it will help place small online businesses back on a somewhat more level footing to the bigger brands and businesses out there.
Cutts seems to have acknowledged that many small businesses have been affected by the Panda algorithm. So let’s hope that something is changed in the new algorithm refresh to rectify this. It’s still unknown when the Google Panda update refresh will be exactly but seeing as Cutts has already brought it up we should expect to see it in the next few months. As always, the world of SEO is changing and hopefully the Panda refresh will be beneficial to small businesses.
The Google Panda refresh is something that we can look forward to in the next few months. Whilst the intent behind Panda was well intentioned, it had a very negative side effect for many small businesses in a variety of fields. As always, what this does is show that the world of SEO is always changing and evolving, highlighting its importance and the need to stay on top of all the latest SEO developments.
Are you looking forward to the Panda refresh? Do you think that it will help your business?