Due to Google’s continuous updates, in any given week there are many different changes that can affect how SEO’s do their jobs. For this reason, today we’re starting a new series. 

With a week in review, we’ll be discussing what’s been happening throughout the internet marketing world, with the main focus on SEO and Google’s updates. If you’re able to understand what Google’s doing on a week-by-week basis, you can make changes alongside Google’s algorithm.

That way, you won’t wake up one day and find all your traffic (and/or income) is gone completely.

Panda 3.4

By far, the biggest news of this week is the Panda 3.4 algorithm update. It’s been a year since Panda was released, disrupting the world of internet marketing forever.

And you may have noticed – search results are getting a lot more relevant as well. We’re no longer seeing EzineArticles ranking on page #1 for any keyword. For searchers, this is fantastic news. For SEO’s using “the old SEO,” not so much.

Panda 3.4 brought destruction for artificial link building through blog directories. It’s no secret – Google’s against people building links. Doing so games their algorithm. Of course, now that every SEO knows about building links, they’ve allowed some room for SEO’s to do their job. That being said, Google’s goal is still to provide the top quality results to the top of the search engine rankings.

Blog directories are one of the oldest and—until very recently—most effective ways to get your website to page #1. By writing one article and spinning it, you could send it to literally thousands of blogs. These blogs would then link back to your website, giving you thousands of backlinks all for one article.

Obviously, this is gaming Google’s algorithm – plain and simple. So it should come as no surprise that Panda 3.4 de-indexed several of the largest blog directories on the net. Now all the links that came from those directories are worthless. Not only that, though. If you built backlinks through one of the directories, your website now has “flagged” links. Google knows you’ve built links through a blog directory and as such, your site will now be under scrutiny. 

Although several major blog networks were de-indexed, not all of them were. However, Google’s clearly demonstrated that they are against link building through blog networks. Therefore, even if the network you use didn’t get hit, it doesn’t mean you’re safe. No, chances are that your blog network of choice will also get hit.

Maybe not, but are you willing to take that risk?

If You Got Hit…

Getting hit by a Google algorithm update hurts. There’s no question about it. However, there are things you can do to get your site back on track. 

It’s absolutely essential to put the user experience above anything else when performing post-Panda SEO. As Google continues to update its algorithm, it will become more and more adept at determining whether or not a website provides real value to each and every person who visits the site. 

So the websites with the best user experience will rank at page #1, rank #1.

If you think about it, this already happens naturally. If you visit a website that delivers on the user experience and provides you with direct value, you’re very likely to return. Not only that, you’re also likely to share the website on Facebook or give it a link – naturally linking at its finest!

Websites that have been hit by post-Panda updates have found a complete re-haul to be effective. What does this mean? A web design update, ad replacements, longer content, the whole nine yards.

By doing this, they drastically improve the user experience and prove to Google that they’re willing to work with them, not against them.

Want More Updates on Google?

If you’d like to stay up-to-date with everything that Google’s doing, filling out the form below and joining our newsletter is a great first step. By doing this, you’ll receive an update in your mailbox whenever we find anything new about Google.

Whether it’s an algorithm update, a wave of de-indexing, or a new technique that people are using to improve their site’s user experience, you’ll know about it first if you’re on our newsletter.

If you don’t like crowding up your inbox, why not head over to our Facebook page and “like” us instead? You’ll receive updates straight to your Facebook wall!

Lastly, don’t forget to run a free on-page SEO analysis for your website. Is something small and seemingly insignificant keeping you from rank #1? Find out today!

If you liked this article, you may also enjoy:

One Year Since Panda

The Freshness Update and SEO

SEO in 2012: A Few Predictions

How to Improve The User Experience