With the recent Google Algorithm change termed as ‘Panda (release 2.5)’, there is again a huge buzz on who is going to win the search ranking battles and this time it is serious as compared to the previous changes.

The new algorithm rewards ‘fresher’ content over ‘older’ content, which is quite contrary to previous Google search ranking methods, where it preferred an older site to a newer one. This clearly shows that Google is now putting a lot of emphasis on ‘real time search’ and ‘real time update’.

Some recent finding and impact show:

  1. Google rolled out a “freshness update” that impacted 35% of queries.  And according to Searchmetrics, the SEO visibility of YouTube.com jumped 27%.
  2. This algorithm change impacted 35% of searches, which means changes that are significant enough that an average user would notice. Using that same scale, this change noticeably impacts 6 – 10% of searches, depending on the language and domain you’re searching on.

Google says, the following content will the most impact due to this algorithm change:

  • Recent events or hot topics. For recent events or hot topics that begin trending on the web, you want to find the latest information immediately. Now when you search for current events like [occupy oakland protest], or for the latest news about the [nba lockout], you’ll see more high-quality pages that might only be minutes old.
  • Regularly recurring events. Some events take place on a regularly recurring basis, such as annual conferences like [ICALP] or an event like the [presidential election]. Without specifying with your keywords, it’s implied that you expect to see the most recent event, and not one from 50 years ago. There are also things that recur more frequently, so now when you’re searching for the latest [NFL scores], [dancing with the stars] results or [exxon earnings], you’ll see the latest information.
  • Frequent updates. There are also searches for information that changes often, but isn’t really a hot topic or a recurring event. For example, if you’re researching the [best slr cameras], or you’re in the market for a new car and want [subaru impreza reviews], you probably want the most up to date information.

Implications for Marketers:

  1. If you thought SEO and Content Strategy was not important – your site is going to loose ranking and visibility on the search engine quite rapidly.
  2. Finding fresh content to show up on core sites is going to be a challenge – which will drive more social lead content strategy.
  3. Search & Social are going to be pivotal in future search marketing approaches.