Buzz about another Google algorithm update started about 10 days ago when reports of serious changes to rankings surfaced. The dust should finally be settling on the update – so I’ve taken the opportunity to review the theories on the update.
Dave Davies was one of the first to post an analysis on the update, with his view shared by many across the internet. According to his review, three key areas were addressed in the update; namely Domain Age, Backlinks and PageRank.
It appears that the Google Algorithm update has increased the importance placed on the age of a site’s domain. While using domain age as a ranking factor helps to prevent spammy new websites from stealing top rankings, it tends to disadvantage legitimate sites that are just starting out. The importance of domain age should be a set-up on a sliding scale – with age becoming less important after a specified period, and other factors taking precedence.
The new update seems to have unusually increased the importance on link volumes again which is ironic considering Google’s public denouncement of paid links and unscrupulous linking strategies. So why then would Google reward sites with high volumes of irrelevant links? Many suspect this will be a temporary consequence, and I would expect to see a readjustment sooner rather than later.
It seems the little green bar and enigmatic Google PageRank score is playing a less significant role in weighting the value of links to a website. Many webmasters have become obsessed with getting high PageRank links, ignoring the importance of relevance. While the change is a good thing, it needs to be substituted with a better way of valuing links, which still isn’t evident as yet. Perhaps the TrustRank measure which involves manual evaluation of core links will take its place.
All told, the latest Google update seems to have taken a step backwards as far improving the relevance of its SERPs. I’m fairly confident that any irrelevance generated from the update will be rectified by an algo tweak in the near future.
Tell us how the update has impacted your rankings and whether you think the key changes are for better or worse…