Earlier this week, Google rolled out the second Panda data refresh this month -- Panda 3.8. The Panda update initially rolled out in 2011. Panda, which has had lots of refreshes since then, was and still is targeting low quality content. It is often confused with the Penguin update, which was focused on "spammy" tactics that are used to improve rankings. But they are different animals. See our post from May: Penguins and Pandas and Over-Optimization.... Oh My
The initial Panda update from over a year ago affected about 12% of search results in Google. The data refresh releases since then have affected far less. According to Google, this latest one (Panda 3.8) impacted less than one percent worldwide. The earlier refresh from June 8 affected about one percent.
Does this mean Google has changed the algorithm again?
No, a data refresh is just that. It doesn't change the algorithm. It reruns the the existing Panda algorithm to catch any sites that violate it (again, Panda's focus: low quality content). Refreshing, no?
Why should you care?
Because it serves as a good reminder. Google is an ever-morphing place. You never know when an update or refresh will occur, so you need to stay on your toes and make sure you are doing your best to provide quality content that always has the end user in mind.
How do you do that?
You know this already, because we keep telling you. Give your online marketing strategy a solid foundation by taking a well-rounded and diversified approach.
Google is currently offering an online course (with a certificate if you pass the assessment at the end) to become power searchers. They are also asking random searchers to give feedback on the quality of and satisfaction with their search results via live pop ups. Google is always trying to build a better search engine with end users in mind. Likewise, all your content and activities need to always be useful to the end user. And you need to broaden your marketing horizons to reach your audience through various channels. Long gone are the days when you could put your eggs all in one basket. Diversify.