Weekly SEO news: 27 May 2014
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Google has announced two major ranking algorithms: Panda 4.0 and PDL 2.0. Many websites have lost their rankings after the update. Are your web pages affected? What can you do to avoid ranking problems?

In the news: Google's EU settlement is under pressure, Panda update discussions, news about Bing Ads, and more.

Table of contents:

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Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Google releases Panda 4.0. What does this mean for your website?

Google has announced two major ranking algorithms: Panda 4.0 and PDL 2.0. Many websites have lost their rankings after the update. Are your web pages affected? What can you do to avoid ranking problems?

Why has Google released these updates?

Both updates were announced by Google's Matt Cutts on Twitter:

Panda 4.0 update

The Panda algorithm targets websites with poor quality content. This is a bigger update which means that Google probably changed how they identify low quality content.

One hour after the announcement of the new Panda algorithm, Matt Cutts announced a new version of the "Payday Loan" algorithm. The original Payday Loan algorithm was released in June 2013. It is not related to Google's Panda or Penguin algorithms and it targets 'very spammy queries.'

Which websites were downranked after these updates?

According to several reports on the web, major sites such as ebay.com, ask.com, biography.com and aceshowbiz.com have lost up to 70% of their Google rankings.

It seems that the (often automatically created) content of these web pages is not good enough for Google's new ranking algorithm.

How does this affect your web pages?

If your website mainly consists of very similar pages, it's likely that it will be affected by Google's new algorithm. The same will happen if the content of your pages has been created automatically.

If you haven't spammed Google, these two updates won't do anything to your rankings. Both algorithms target web spam. If you do not spam, you have nothing to fear.

If you want to get lasting results, do not use spammy methods to promote your website. Use white-hat methods and play by the rules. Your website's Google rankings will be much more stable then.

SEOprofiler only uses white-hat SEO methods that play by the rules. If you haven't done it yet, create your trial account now:

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
Google's settlement with European Union faces increased pressure
"Google Inc.'s proposed settlement with European Union antitrust cops is under increasing threat of being revised or scrapped, amid calls to more tightly regulate the Web giant in the run up to European Parliament elections.

Politicians from France and Germany have in recent days ramped up rhetoric against the settlement with Google, which aims to resolve accusations that the company abuses its dominance in online search to promote its own businesses."

New display research: state of the industry retargeting report

"Desktop retargeting (such as site, search, etc.) is more mature than social or mobile, though budgets for social and mobile retargeting continue to increase. Retargeting budgets are still being pulled from display, even though a tiny sliver of brands and agencies report having separate retargeting budgets."

PandaDiscussion: being hit by Google Panda was my fault

In an online discussion, a webmaster shares his personal insights into Google's Panda update:

"I was the first to complain about how Google almost destroyed my business. It has been very hard. We have laid off numerous employees and lost more advertising customers than I can count. It's cost us more than one potential acquirer. [...]

And I believe, Google did the right thing with these improvements. I got comfortable and when you get comfortable you can get lazy. I got lazy. I didn't innovate my sites. I didn't improve the content like I should have. I didn't police the scrapers and copyright thieves to protect my content. I didn't employ the newest, fastest technology to make sure my users had the best possible experience."

Bing Ads: why your geo targeted ad was shown

"Previously, the Geographical Location report did not clarify which type of location – Physical or Search – was served with ads.

In this month’s release, our Reporting Engineers aimed to solve that by adding the column 'Location type' that clearly identifies which location type – 'Physical location' or 'Location of interest' – was used to serve each of your ads."

Search engine newslets

  • Google adds “Okay Google” voice search for all Chrome users.
  • New for Facebook Pages: restaurant menus.
  • U2 manager: 'Google is the greatest theft enabler on the internet'.
  • Bing Maps styling improvements now live.
  • Google slightly changes the logo.
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3. Recommended resources

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4. Previous articles
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