Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Is Google Panda 2.5 Panic Warranted?

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 I remember, at the tender, impressionable age of 11, my mathematics teacher asking the class how many point you needed to draw a line. The hands shot up and the answer 2 was duly given. The teacher said that while that was correct, in her opinion you needed at least 3 points to truly know whether the data truly indicated a line.

I’m sure that most people reading this are aware of the Panda 2.5 update that ran last Wednesday. It first came to light when some sites noticed their traffic dropping dramatically, and was confirmed by both Google and Google’s Matt Cutts.

Different sites, this one included, jumped over to Search Metrics and used their SEO visibility chart to identify the winners and losers of the latest iteration of Panda. The data seemed to show that Google was now favoring their own brands, because they were the ones that had seen the biggest jump in this “SEO visibility” metric that was being used to identify Panda impact.

What Exactly is SEO Visibility?

I looked on the Search Metrics site and found this definition:

“SEO Visibility displays the visibility to the selected domain in the organic search”

Not an exceptionally helpful definition, but OK, let’s just roll with it, and assume it’s a valid metric that holds up for all types of sites including those in the news industry with slightly more volatile rankings due to the news cycle (i.e., 2 weeks ago sites weren’t ranking for “Steve Jobs Dead” or “Amish on Amish Crime” because they weren’t news yet).

A Closer Look at the Panda Winners was highlighted by Search Metrics as a winner on their Panda 2.5 blog post based on their increase in SEO visibility between the week before and the week after Panda 2.5 ran. While this metric does indeed show an increase for between those two weeks, it also shows that it had been on a downward trend before that, and even after the increase purportedly due to Panda, it was still down from where it had been three weeks earlier. Then a week later... back down to almost the low of the week before Panda. Not really what I’d call conclusive proof of being a Panda winner.

Maybe that’s an isolated case?

How about a Google owned site? Because this update allegedly benefited Google’s products. was listed as a 10% gainer. Further proof of Google sticking it to sites they don’t own by helping their own. Well, yes, that increase was there, but it was a continuation of a trend that began the week before, and in the last week... it’s dropped again. So looking at this data, you could say that it shows a 6.2 percent increase over the five weeks, or you could say that based on the visibility score now compared to the week before Panda it’s actually fallen by 0.8 percent, not much of an own brand favor.

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy. Through Internet Marketing he places his name on great search engine like-GOOGLE who is also called as Innovator, Investor, Internet Marketing Guru and Entrepreneur. For more updates don’t go away, please stay with us.

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