Google Panda Updates March 2012

Panda is no joke to gaming affiliates.

It’s been just a year since Google Panda updates turned the SEO world on its ear, and the hits just keep coming. Every month the search engine giant introduces new tweaks and updates that are impacting the affiliate marketing business in a big way. Between late February and the end of March, Google introduced a number of changesĀ  that every gaming affiliate should know about.

A whole list of the changes is available from the Google blogs but here are some highlights you’ll want to know and understand.

  • Refresh – Last week Google tweeted, “Panda refresh rolling out now. Only ~ 1.6 percent of queries noticeably effected.” In layman’s terms this mean that Google re-indexed everyone and only a very few of the sites that weren’t impacted by Panda 3.3 were being effected in the refresh.
  • Image algorithm changes – Google is enhancing image queries to make Universal Image Search results more effective. Affiliates should make certain that all their image anchor texts are as descriptive as possible.
  • Official sites – Another interesting algorithm update revolves around disambiguating official sites from related sites. This could be bad news for webmasters who ride the coat tails of major brands, but is good news for anyone who is trying to protect their brand. Again, affiliates need to make certain that their URL names are as descriptive as possible to stay on top of the page rankings.
  • Link Analysis – Late last month Google announced that they had done away with their old method of link analysis. Many affiliate marketing professionals saw this as a veiled attack on link building. While the results of this tweak aren’t readily apparent web masters should take it seriously. That means its time to really think about the sites you link to and the sites that are linking to you. Stick with authority sites and ditch the low quality, high volume link farms.
  • Over-Optimization Penalty – Google SEO guru Matt Cutts recently let slip that Google would be introducing a penalty for sites that over-optimize content. From his past remarks we know that he’s no fan of keyword stuffing and low quality content, but an over-optimization penalty could be an SEO game changer.



Panda is an ever-changing entity and there’s really no way of predicting what changes are going to be implemented from month to month. But the brains at Google have been sending a consistent message to the SEO world that quality content is the key to consistently high page rankings. Beating the Panda back is as simple as adhering to basic white hat SEO practices and high quality content with relevant links.

How are you fighting the Panda? Let us know on our SEO Forum.


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