On July 24 Google announced that a data refresh would be rolling out, impacting 1% of search results. Google has stated that it is a significant refresh and many would notice.
To reiterate Google’s goal, Panda is to “help people find high quality sites by reducing the rankings of low-quality content. Then Panda change tackles the difficult task of algorithmically assessing website quality.”
While the refresh impacts a noticeable amount of search results, it should not be news to SEO firms. Google Panda 3.7 was released on June 9th; Panda 3.8 on June 25th, and now Panda 3.9 while many SEO’s await another Penguin refresh.
If you have been paying attention to SEO gossip then you are probably aware of these refreshes and are being proactive to avoid a negative impact on your sites. As always, some online agencies are caught off guard and the webmaster forums fill up with complaints. One of the interesting comments I saw was a complaint that Google releases these updates to make money from their AdWords sector, and Panda increased their clicks 35% and Penguin by 42%. I have also seen many claims that Google is losing traffic because of these refreshes.
All of this is just mostly chatter, but there are a couple of valid points. Google has always maintained that their organic and paid searches are completely separate, and they have many checks and balances in place to have a Chinese wall in place.
In terms of losing traffic, I would say that it probably is a possibility especially with Bing coming on strong. Google has a long term strategy, but in the short term they might lose traffic. They will be better in the long term because of the quality websites that their search results provide and the authority they continue to build.
Online marketers have to accept the strategy that Google has put in place and adjust their own strategy accordingly in order to be successful. Just like any other area of business, if you don’t, someone else will and you will be left behind.