Google’s definitely on the warpath lately. On February 18th, Google launched Panda 3.3, which was a direct attack against unnatural link building tactics. Now, before the dust had settled, on March 23rd Google launched Panda 3.4, as evidenced (conveniently) by this official tweet:
Panda refresh rolling out now. Only ~1.6% of queries noticeably affected. Background on Panda: https://t.co/Z7dDS6qc
— Google (@Google) March 23, 2012
So, we’re left with a lot of questions:
Obviously, it’s only been a few days since Google Panda 3.4 was released, so the fallout is still manifesting as Google’s data centers refresh. I’ve done a lot of scoping around, trying to get opinions from other folks about what exactly changed in Panda 3.4, but thus far it doesn’t look like anyone is really willing to venture a guess as to what happened. So these observations are based solely on my interpretation of the ranking changes I’ve seen across the hundred or so websites on which I have ranking and analytics data. Google Panda 3.4 appears to be a revision and update to the changes made in Google Panda 3.3, which shows continued aggression by Google against unnatural link building.
As I stated in my previous post about Google Panda 3.3, here are the specific unnatural link building signals that Google is looking for and devaluing with the most recent revisions of Panda, including 3.4:
If you or your client(s) were hit by Panda 3.3 or 3.4 and need to recover, you need to do one or both of the following.
Google is a business, and the purpose of a business is to make money. By making these changes, Google is stripping SEOs and webmasters of their ability to manipulate search engine rankings and get their websites (or their clients’ websites) ranked on the first page of Google’s search results. As a result, Google is increasing the demand for their pay-per-click traffic auction, Adwords. Webmasters that previously held high rankings for competitive keywords lost tons of website traffic and sales after Panda 3.3 and Panda 3.4. So, what was their best alternative? Google Adwords.
Not only has Google created more demand for its Adwords product, but in doing so it has created more competition for every keyword auction within Adwords, driving up the price of keyword bids and raking in the money. As unfortunate as it is, it’s a good strategy by Google and it’ll definitely increase Google’s profits.
I hope you found this post helpful. If you’ve been hit by Panda 3.3 or Panda 3.4, don’t hesitate to reach out. We offer link building services that are designed to help you recover from a Panda 3.3 or Panda 3.4 penalty.