A copy of our subscriber newsletter from April 2012.
This month saw a series of changes which increase the importance of being natural and looking natural when it comes to your SEO strategy. Beyond just that, it is important to really look at quality signals in the future and doing easy things to send quality indicators to Google, such as:
Here is a breakdown of some of the months biggest developments:
A new iteration of the Panda update, which was uniquely announced with just a tweet: "Panda refresh rolling out now. Only ~1.6 of queries noticeably affected. Background on Panda goo.gl/mTKCH". This update was also referred to in the recent 50 pack update, "High-quality sites algorithm data update and freshness improvements...we've pushed updated data for "Panda," as we mentioned in a recent tweet. We've also made improvements to keep our database fresher overall...." Keep in mind this iteration was more of a "refresh" than an update. Since this change, coincided with the other updates, if you recently saw your traffic negatively impacted be sure to disqualify '50 pack' search updates and the blog network deindexing as possible factors.
Blog network shutdown
A blog network shutdown that started with the popular link building network, buildmyrank.com. The interesting thing about this one is that only buildmyrank.com has openly admitted that they were affected by these changes. Of course in light of recent developments like the webmaster tools 'unnatural backlink' warning and the threat of an over optimization penalty, this news is much less shocking. During this wave of change, it's key to focus on the importance of a holistic internet marketing strategy and the importance of emerging ranking factors.
And of course the "50 Pack Update" In Google's official announcement, here are some of the line items that stood out:
Backlink Anchor Text
On a lighter note, we have some cool tools to share. We've done some neat updates to the Find Broken Links, Redirects & Google Sitemap Generator Free Tool, if you haven't checked it out, give it a spin. Also, if you're sick of the spam attack you get when you use IP checkers, bookmark ours, it's ad free . We also released a freakin' awesome loadtime speed test tool. It has an awesome UI and it even lets you compare two pages, which I don't think any other tool on the market does.