This week in Search: Google Panda 4.0, eBay’s bad day, DuckDuckGo Relaunch
Google Panda 4.0
Panda 4.0 is here and has been effective since last Tuesday, May 20th.
If you happen to get the two cuddly animals confused (Panda vs. Penguin), a simple way to look at it is Panda targets content and Penguin targets links. Panda algorithm is designed to prevent sites with poor quality content from working their way into Google’s top search results.
Major Search Blogs and Sites like Moz, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, SearchMetrics have all given their 2 cents about it. I particularly like Barry Schwartz’s post on the biggest losers and winners after this Panda storm settles. So far the biggest losers seem to be ask.com, ebay.com and biography.com.
eBay’s Bad Day
Last week certainly hasn’t been the best week for eBay. Beyond SearchMetrics recording eBay.com’s 33% loss in organic visibility, Dr. Peter Meyers from Moz also documented eBay’s fall from #6 in Moz’s Big 10 (Moz’s metric of the ten domains with the most “real estate” in the top 1) to #25.
Many SEO experts are looking to explain what eBay did wrong that’s caused this Google penalty. So far, the conclusions are not pointing to the latest Panda 4.0 as the major culprit. If this piques your interest, you can geek out on Refugeek’s deconstructing report on eBay’s organic loss.
Refugeek observed that majority of pages that were removed from Google results were considered “doorway” pages. These were category or sub-category pages that eBay may have been creating and optimizing in part to boost rankings in search results. Tsk tsk, eBay! (It’s quite ingenious, actually!)
May 20th (last Tuesday) marks an important day for Search. Add to the list Google Panda update, eBay’s loss and now DuckDuckGo’s relaunch. Never heard of DuckDuckGo? It’s a search engine that advocates not tracking its users, unlike you-know-who (the one that hangs out with all the cuddly animals, HA!)
The Smarter Search interface does look pretty clean and non-cluttered. Above is a glimpse when you search for “Daft Punk”. It’s pretty cool how it’s connected to SoundCloud so you can load and play the audio tracks within the search results.
I’ll keep an eye out for DuckDuckGo’s local search product. After all, it is connected to Yelp and can be another touchpoint with your local business’ potential customers.
The idea is pretty similar to Google Cards but more in-depth and with a better user interface. The “cards” at the top are scrollable and also organized by categories “art/ entertainment”, “organizations”, “places” etc.