Google Algorithm Changes 2011

Relevance Web Marketing search engine professionals today unveiled their ideas of pre and post Panda Update Google algorithm components and its engine Page Rank. Page Rank is a numerical weighting given by the Google Search Engine to pages on the world wide web, and has become the vital set of ingredients to understand when optimising websites to profit from organic search visibility. As search professionals, the Relevance Web Marketing SEO team has analysed search results in the luxury markets and made scientific predictions as to how the link analysis algorithm works as we move into 2011.

What is Page Rank and how does it determine search engine position

The Google Algorithm in 2010

Pre-Panda emphasis (2010 and before), was based principally on webpage and website popularity; the amount of incoming links a website had to a particular page as well as the authority of that page and the website authority as a whole. We predict that more than 45% of search engine ranking results were down to popoularity work and the keywords used when promoting the website.

Link Building: Popularity Rules the Day

Many prospect clients do not understand the difference between SEO and SEM. SEM is popularity work that makes your website popular whereas SEO is merely the way the page is set up. Our sales team often tell us that clients expect to pay for a one-time fee for the SEO of the site. It is like telling an off-line PR company to create a one-off marketing campain or PR stunt then drop everything. SEM could be considered at least 3 times more important that SEO 2010 and now in 2011 – that has not changed. Why? I use the off-line example of giving people your business card. It doesn’t really matter how efficient your marketing is, if nobody has your business card. The less efficient business who is highly popular will surely win the day.

Other important algorithm elements pre – panda

Obviously the age of the domain, and where it was hosted were also important factors, along with on-page SEO elements such as titles, meta elements, headings and content ratios. Social and website usability were somewhat ignored and the Google engine often was filled with keyword contained domains and websites with poor usability. Whether people on your social graph had visited and liked the website was pretty much irrelevant. Facebook was to change that. Internet marketing debate almost always centred around technical search engine optimisation, whether Meta Keywords were important, whether you should have two H1s, and whether you should bold keywords.

Please see our thoughts on pre-panda Google Search Algorythm.


Panda or Farmer Update 2011

On the 24th February 2011, Google turned the search industry on its head! The Panda or Farmer update from Google  was set to eliminate technical experts spamming the engine by creating content farms and link spam. Google turned various ‘knobs’ to lower the rankings of individual pages that the algorithm deems “low quality”. Google also said publicly, “low-quality [page] content [on the domain] can impact an entire domain.” That day, Google also declared war on content factories, fighting backlink builders that build sub sites to trick search engines by filling websites and blogs with lots and lots of useless, poorly written content. It was the day that the companies tricking Google into thinking people were purposefully linking to their sites or client sites were stopped in their tracks. The unique and quality content writters such as journalists, and news writers were rewarded for their hardwork. Relevance Web Marketing saw the Panda update as a great day, as we employ up to 10 professional writers to create unique and quality conent for our clients – anyone creating crap is no longer used, and our writers are all from UK or French and US universities. As our clientelle is almost uniquely in the luxury industries or real estate, yachting, aviation, and holidays, quality content is vital for branding. People who read articles or press releases or blog posts expect quality associated with the brand.

The Panda update, however, has lead to another form of spam – the spamming of bookmarking sites and social media sites. In fact it seems that today companies adopting this strategy are  benefiting from the algorithm change. Social Media links and what like-minded people are saying about your webpage, or website is becoming more and more important and links from Twitter and Facebook are becoming a gold mine.

After 2-and-a-half months of the Panda Update Relevance Web Marketing have tested the new algorithm.  The changes were implemented in the United States ( before being filtering to the United Kingdom ( and France ( Relevance Web Marketing SEO team has made predictions on the latest components of the Google search algorithm 2011 – please see below:


Google Algorithm Elements post – panda

Now, what now! Obviously you will have to make sure that your on-page SEO strategy and technical SEO is watertight, plus you could base your server in the country for the market you are aiming at; but these elements are the base – these should be correct already. If you are not sure you have got these right – try an SEO audit which will reveal any deep-seated SEO technical issues. Age of domain is very important, if not the most, so if you can aquire  an old domain do it – otherwise you can’t really do much.

High Quality Content – Semantic Search Technology

Once you have the optimisation basics right now you must create high quality content. You might know the difference between a well studied and researched thesis and someone joining up the dots around keywords buy how can an indexing program work this out? Google and other search engines have bought into cutting edge semantic search technology which has helped them to adapt Page Rank to learn the difference between high quality content and ‘crap’. In July 2010 Google bought Metaweb a “free database of the world’s information” a company specialising in “filtering search terms according to information on real people, places or events”. Semantic search, says Wikipedia, “…seeks to improve search apccuracy by understanding searcher intent and the contextual meaning of terms as they appear in the searchable dataspace, whether on the Web or within a closed system, to generate more relevant results.” Obviously the technology is getting better all the time, but works a little like grammar checkers in Word, and finds the intent of the writer and marks the content based on this. Google will provide improved positioning and visibility for high-quality content sites—”sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis”. Read more about semantic search technology here.

Creating a Social Media Community

There has been a massive collaboration between search engines and social media that will further enable improved relevant and real-time results through search. Google is now including Twitter conversations in search results. Social Media sites are being indexed at a much higher frequency than the average site. The most popular Social Media sites are trusted by google and usually have high page ranks. So you must get your name in the social media engines, and you must get people to socially share your quality content. So this must start by having a good up-to-date blog which is encorporated on your website; The interesting posts that you create on your blog should feed to your products and then tweeted or liked to the social media communities you have created. Social Media Marketing is a highly creative and slightly technical business but is the answer to new popularity tasks, and greater online visibility. Resonance Media specialise in social media marketing services. Once you have a buzzing social media community chatting about you, liking you, +1ing you and suggesting to others that they visit your products and services your visibility will improve both naturally and in the search results. Google will pick up on this and give you credit. I feel that the website design and navigation are now much more important. Not only can users get a picture of the site before they click, but the algorithm in now highly tuned to take into account bounce rates, time-on -site. The amount of work you put into your website promotion will remain the same; instead of creating website partners, you will now be creating social partners.

Google Social Media: the +1 Button

Google has released the +1 button: “Click +1 to publicly give something your stamp of approval. Your +1’s can help friends, contacts, and others on the web find the best stuff when they search.” This is how we see the social graph metrics becoming increasingly popular in the Google search engine algorithm – social data is vital. The +1 button is enabled when you log into your Google account. Google know all about you and what sites you like to visit, what you click on – obviously this will work across all Google’s products. Once you start +1ing search engine results and eventually web pages and websites Google will obviously let your friends know that you like this e.g. Antony liked this website. Google will have to access your contact list to make this work. Whether your Google Account contacts are enough for this is another question; maybe they will need to use Twitter or the Facebook API, or even buy Facebook.

Read more articles by this author

click here