Strong evidence collected by staff members at the G-Squared Interactive shows that a Google algorithm update occurred during the month of June. According to Glenn Gabe, a member of G-Squared Interactive, there has been some major volatility in search rankings. Some websites are climbing in rankings and others are falling rapidly. Gabe referenced specific dates, June 1, 8, 21, and 26, as the days where the most volatility was seen, which suggests that the update was released at the beginning of the month and “tremors” happened during the remainder of the month.
The update is believed to be either Panda-related or one of Google’s “quality updates”. Regardless, the update seems to be targeting websites with noticeable quality issues. Examples of these issues include: poor content, user experience issues, excessive advertising, etc. On the other side, the update appears to reward sites that have worked to generate better quality content.
The top issues found when analyzing sites that have dropped in rankings as a result of this update include:
- Burying content below sponsored posts: Websites that include a number of link thumbnails to sponsored content at the top of articles drastically dropped in the search results.
- More ads than content: A site that featured two thirds ads, and one third content ended up falling significantly in search results.
- Thin Content: Websites focused on Q&A’s saw a drop in search results, most likely because of too many pages with thin or irrelevant content.
- Generic Content: Sites that offered very generic content for the subject covered also saw a fall in search results. Check out our tips for creating original content for SEO.
An algorithm update related to Panda has not occurred since March. Based on the time frame, as well as the evidence listed above, it is very possible we’re seeing another Panda update. If not a Panda update, it is likely one of Google’s “quality updates.”