Those involved in search engine optimisation are always eagerly awaiting any information Google feels like sharing and the confirmation of two important changes has the SEO world thinking. Google recently confirmed that the Panda 3.3 change was rolled out at the end of February 2012 and that it is also scrapping a link evaluation signal that it has been using for a number of years.
Panda was launched a year ago but already a few updates have taken place. Panda 3.2 was in mid-January and according to Google at the time, was only a “data refresh” and did not affect ranking signals in any way. However, Panda 3.3 is now here and once again, Google is claiming this update is for the refreshing of information:
“This launch refreshes data in the Panda system, making it more accurate and more sensitive to recent changes on the web.”
This update will have those involved in SEO wondering if these updates are about more than just the refreshing of information and how these updates can affect search results.
Google also confirmed it will no longer be using a link evaluation signal it has been using for a considerable amount of time but refused to give any further details on the matter. High quality link building is a major part of the majority of SEO campaigns and any changes in link evaluation can make a big difference to how links are viewed and treated by the search engines.
Only time and further exploration will enable us to see how these changes are affecting the search results and SEO.