Google has confirmed that a little over a week ago they carried out a data refresh of the Google Panda algorithm, and added that there were no additional changes. This refresh is an update of sorts but more of a reshuffle. I have come to call these “appeasing tweaks”, meaning the list of moaners who actually carry some weight in the web world is in, and Google then adjusts things so those big players get their rankings and traffic back.
There are some grumblings across the web from webmasters who have been hit again, and on assessment it seems affiliate marketers have yet again taken a bashing, seeing their review sites hopped over by blogs and random sites with seemingly less quality content. Largely, what we are seeing is favoritism towards big brands and Fortune 500s, with adjustments made for VIPs and smaller fish having to accept drops in rankings even where no crime has been committed.
Hopefully the Panda will calm down now and let the SERPs go back to normal. I also hope that Google has learnt a lesson over the last year; that over interference isn’t necessarily the way forward for a better search experience. They need to realize that a hands on approach is needed. They need to make themselves contactable; to allow people to report spam sites, scrapers and such, and then deal with cases on a one-by-one basis rather than sending out sweeping updates that see too many innocents caught in the net. With all that cash we know they have the resources to do this, but something tells me the arrogance of being technical geniuses is stopping them from supplying good old customer service.