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The Brandy Update

GaryTheScubaGuy asked 1 year ago
A couple weeks ago before I went to AiG in China I sent out an email to my clients stating that we were in the midst of a significant update by Google. Around the time I left (3rd week of Feb) this took place. Is was coined the “Brandy Update”.

Amongst changes that we are evaluating, the apparent changes that myself and colleagues (US) have been able to identify is the greater influence of LSI or latent semantic indexing. This is something I have been talking about for around a year and can be found in the articles that I have published Top SEO Tips for 2008 & 2009.

There were admittedly (by Google) 5 significant changes; LSI in content, LSI in backlinks, LSI in the neighborhoods you are linked to and that are linking to you, the de-valuation of header tags and one that we haven’t seen any significant evidence of so I won’t even write it here (someone will just start propogating it as the truth and it will, as it has in the past, come back to bite me!)

All that I have been able to 100% validate are the significance of the backlinks pointing to your site, their relevance, and the latent semantic content of the link pointing back to your site.

So if you use one kw or kw string in the anchor text of your backlink campaign and they point back from an erroneous site or a erroneous page within a non-related website, you are probably going to experience some ranking changes in the next couple weeks.

If you build links with one kw/kw phrase pointing back to one page within your site and your site’s theme is not that target term/s you might be a redneck. (That’s an American joke – I mean you might have some issues).

For those of you that didn’t know I’ve done Gaming SEO for 9 years in the states, before it was banned, and my colleagues are gaming/porn/rx webmasters/SEO’s, so their info in pretty reliable. That’s why I started talking about this 18 months ago.

As with all Google’s algorithmic tweaks they release it in the US, re-tweak, then roll it out in the UK, then Germany and Spain, you will not be seeing it yet. But trust me you will.

We also believe that external linking has also been tuned up, and is also, we believe, part of this “tweaking”, and also implements LSI technology. This means that Google is looking at the relation of your backlink anchor text as it relates to your landing page content, and the relativity of the content on the page linking to you. This is also something I mentioned as being significant.

Neither of these points are new information, we knew they were coming. The question was to what extreme.

There have been quite a few people that claim header tags have also lost quite a bit of influence. I can’t verify that but we are looking at it very closely as this has always been a significant element in all the SERP’s.

Lastly, I have been talking alot about regionalisation, advanced geotargeting and how to put the last ‘algo-tweak’ into action with subdomains, subdirectories and geotargeting via Google Webmaster Central. Matt Cutts has done a video on this, and the Brandy Update in the last 10 days. I leave it to you to find it.

Point? – You need to get on geotargeting through subdomains.