Google announces Panda update 2.2

Earlier this year, Google launched the Panda update to its search engine, which made major modifications to the way the portal sorted web results. The change that had the biggest impact on affiliate marketing campaigns was the devaluation of article websites.

Previously, article directories were highly regarded by Google – simply submitting original content to these websites enabled entrepreneurs to generate a backlog of high-quality links, which in turn boosted their search rankings. However, after the Panda update went through, the value of these websites dropped significantly, making them less beneficial than before.

Google engineer Matt Cutts recently detailed some new changes that will be made to the search engine’s algorithm under Panda revision 2.2. The overall goal, Search Engine Land notes, is to expand on the direction the Panda update was originally heading, – promoting original content instead of websites that simply aggregate it.

Update 2.2 addresses a common webmaster complaint: websites that repost content out rank the originating website on search engines. Google will also tweak the algorithm in other undisclosed ways. Meanwhile, the search giant is still mum on when the Panda update as a whole will impact non-English language searches.

“In particular, [Cutts] noted that the Panda algorithm is run against Google’s entire index of pages on an infrequent basis, in order to tag certain sites that should be dinged by it, as opposed to some of its automatic spam detection tools,” Search Engine Land notes. “For example, Google’s constantly scanning for pages that might use hidden text. If it spots them, then it may assess a penalty.”

While the original Panda update may have hindered some affiliate marketing initiatives, it does emphasize the importance of using a variety of strategies to improve search engine rankings. Rather than simply relying on content and article writing, affiliates need to focus on both on-site and off-site optimization.

On-site content should still be keyword optimized, making sure to use the phrases in the heading, title and meta tags and within the actual copy. Meanwhile, they need to be generating incoming links from a variety of sources, not just article directories.

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