With Google’s latest update to it’s search engine ranking system, there was a lot of collateral damage. The intent of their update, Panda, was to rank low quality content farms lower on the search results pages. It sounds like a noble effort, but remember Google’s Panda update is really an automated ranking system run without any human intervention, so you know there will be a few glitches. And there were.
Thousands of small business websites started to disappear from the Google front page. These small businesses started seeing their Google traffic drop by 60-70%. They had to layoff employees, and scale back in order to survive Panda.
What happened to ‘Do No Evil’ Google? Why are they punishing innocent website owners? What about some of the websites that Google was targeting?
Some of the largest, low quality content farms were actually helped by the Panda update, and rewarded with more first page rankings.
Demand Media, which churns out hundreds of web pages and videos daily, was not affected. An Apple review site, CultofMac, lost 90% of their Google traffic. Doesn’t seem fair.
I think that Google will get it right eventually, but this does point out the limits of using a mathematical formula to identify a quality website. And why some sort of human input is probably a good idea, especially if Google wants to retain it’s Do No Evil monicker.