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Google confirmed with us that a Panda update is being released and said:
In the last few days we’ve been pushing out a new Panda update
that incorporates new signals so it can be more finely targeted.
There is renewed chatter in the WebmasterWorld forums
about another shuffle taking place in Google. The consensus
is that this update is likely Panda related.
Matt Cutts posted a rare overview of Google's plans for the next few months for orgnic search - what website optimizers and webmasters can expect. What to expect in SEO in the coming months [mattcutts.com]
1. Stop advertorials that pass PageRank
2. Improve SERPs that are traditionally more spammy (adult, for example)
3. Better link analysis to deny value to link spammer
4. New hacked site detection methods and better webmaster communication about them
5. Detect true authorities better in various niches - better authority signals that could help moderate Panda impact
6. Improvements planned for host clustering - to make overly dominant results less common
Matt said this is a rough snapshot of the potential that's in the works. It's not a guaranteed promise because things can always change as these projects evolve.
the rollout appears to have commenced 3-4 days ago, and according to MC should continue for approx. 10 days in total
I am surprised we aren't seeing some form of positive from having a mobile version or a responsive design.
I can understand what your saying but if your using a mobile device and there is no mobile version it can be a poor user experience
From what I can determine is that perhaps there are some new signals they are analyzing to check if a site should be in Panda.
And with technology moving so fast and diversely [ e.g. devices , applications - all requiring added resource to support ], Google would have to be wondering if there is enough good quality content to encourage a large enough site owner base to upgrade their content diversity. In my view, Google has to come up with strategies to encourage site-owners to invest in their SEO business, or they simply will have a polarised few. Simply, Google may have been too aggressive and the selection criteria previously used for quality assessment was equally aggressive.
but since the Google traffic increased, some rankings must have improved, unless all of the increase is from long-tail.
Wouldn't it be more productive, from Google's point of view, if site owners invested in content instead of spending their money on SEO?
A site like Amazon.com or Booking.com, which is packed with user reviews, will have an inherent advantage over a mom-and-pop e-commerce site that lacks a megasite's ability to attract user-generated content. By the standards of Google Web Search (and from a Google user's point of view), a typical content-rich page from Amazon should rank higher than the equivalent page from a small e-commerce site that probably contains little more than boilerplate text. From Google's content-oriented perspective, the boost given to sites like Amazon.com or WalMart.com or Booking.com isn't a bug, it's a feature.
For informational topics (my stomping ground), Google's standards for quality assessment haven't been too aggressive.