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Is It the End of an Era?

Over the recent years, we’ve seen a lot of things happening in the SEO space. Namely, we’ve had to deal with two main algorithm updates – Panda and Penguin – and their next iterations.

These updates have resulted in many shakeups on the results pages, with some websites and brands even becoming completely extinct.

We’ve also tried our share of recovery tactics and methods – given us by tens of SEO blogs out there. Some of them worked, some didn’t, but in general, we were quite afraid that no matter what we do, Google will only come back with another blow in the form of a new algorithm update.

But perhaps those days are over?

There’s an interesting piece over at Search Engine Land where Aaron Friedman argues that major shakeups are probably behind us, and that nowadays the search engine space will only continue adjusting to what previous updates have brought.

Friedman reminds that while the original Penguin and Panda updates have changed things up quite a bit, with every new update, we’re seeing less and less impact on the percentage of searches affected by the update.

For instance, Penguin 3.0 is reported to have resulted in less than one percent change across the search results.

It seems that right now, it would be difficult for Google to cook up another large algorithm update that would be affecting a large number of searches, purely because this job was already done by Panda and Penguin.

Moreover, what we also need to look into is how site owners attempt to recover from their penalties. Or more accurately, their inability to do so.

The available data indicates that what the updates have done is mainly devalued the bad links that webmasters built for their sites. In this scenario, removing the links has no effect on the ability to recover, since the links have already been devalued by Google.

It seems that the most effective way to get your spot back is actually just resuming business as usual and investing more funds into acquiring new quality links, rather than investing the same resources into removing the old ones.

Friedman also says that what Panda and Penguin have done is returned certain sites to the exact search engine spots where they rightfully belonged in the first place (due to the kind of links they were acquiring).

What to Do About This?

While it’s hard for us to just completely disregard what’s going on in the SEO space, and algorithm updates in particular, we have to agree that you are much better off focusing your efforts on building new links and new connections rather than removing old ones.

Friedman does share a piece of great advice though:

“And for all that is holy, stop worrying about the damn algorithm updates.”