Google released a new algorithm update yesterday that may have search traffic down for many people. The estimate is that 1 in every 3 searches will likely be impacted this time around. Far more than the 11% we saw with Panda in February. But, this isn’t a Panda update. This time it is “building on momentum” from a little thing Google named Caffeine.
Caffeine was implemented last year. The purpose was to provide fresh results in search. This new tweak is building upon that. From the Google Inside Search blog:
today we’re making a significant improvement to our ranking algorithm that impacts roughly 35 percent of searches and better determines when to give you more up-to-date relevant results for these varying degrees of freshness
What will be impacted:
- Recent Events
- Recurring Events
- Frequent Updates
Frequent Updates is what may cause many bloggers to see a shuffle in their search traffic and incoming terms. Though reviews is something Google specifically mentions here, I wouldn’t be surprised to see topics such as social media, online marketing, internet-related topics, etc. added to this category. After all, we all know these things change on a constant basis around here.
What’s a blogger to do? For starters, I would probably stop building backlinks to old content. We may see that inbound links are not nearly as important for some topics as their freshness in comparison to similar copy.
Next up, don’t panic. Every time Google does an update the mass panic and confusion can be debilitating for some site owners. Keep doing what you are doing. Put out up-to-date content for your readers. Don’t be afraid to update old information with a new message.
These updates often take some time to tweak before finally settling down for a while. Keep an eye on what is changing within your sites and optimize it. Don’t stall in fear. These are always opportunities to make your online business better.