tedster - 4:36 am on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)
Matt Cutts also gave us what I now feel was a big fat hint about how to deal with Google rankings in the age of Panda. He said, essentially, don't chase the algorithm, chase your visitors/users/customers instead.
It's not just good advice because the algorithm is such a squirmy, slippery thing these days and probably impossible to reverse engineer - it's good advice because what your visitors are doing and saying about you IS a big part of the ranking algorithm.
So in a way, forgetting about the Google algorithm is a brilliant strategy because you eliminate the middle man... and then paradoxically, the middle man reappears with more traffic for you. But beyond taking technically sound steps (important for every website and every search engine) don't start directly chasing more Google traffic.
Instead, keep optimizing for ALL traffic from ALL legitimate sources. In other words, marketing and building your online business is now a very savvy SEO strategy too. Where should you look for links? From websites where a link brings you direct traffic. Who should be involved in social media sites? Anyone whose target market is involved in social media. Etc, etc, etc.
It's very possible that soon enough Google will not be announcing or confirming updates or iterations of Panda at all. We should be prepared for that. As it is we have had ten months of hints on the record. That's something.