Google's 'Panda' update is the search giants latest algorithm alteration, which was bought into action in the US to tackle data farming and poor link building. First launched in February, the update has now reached the UK, and is causing a fair amount of controversy thanks to its dramatic and sudden effect on page ranking for many notable sites.
To browse through some of the current winners and losers resulting from the change, click here.
Google's intentions may well have been in favor of the searcher, but have undoubtedly effected many large sites negatively - and for no good reason. Some of the sites now making complaints have noted that they only publish original and relevant content, yet are still heavily penalised by the new algorithm. It will be very interesting to see where the results will settle over the coming months, particularly as more companies begin to question the validity of the changes.
One factor causing major concern for many malefactors of the new algorithm is the positive impact the changes have had on Google's own subsidaries, such as Youtube. It could be argued that this is simply because they, as owned or part-owned subsidiaries, understand exactly how to work with Google's indexing requirements. However, many are beginning to shift towards the opinion of subtle sabotage - amplified by the negative effects felt by many large competitors owned by the likes of Microsoft. If one thing can be said for certain, it is that heavy-hitters like Microsoft will not sit back quietly and allow their page rankings to slip. With Ciao.co.uk (Microsoft's large online shopping portal) having lost -93.83% of their Google traffic, there is no doubt that changes still need to be made, whether that be at Google's end, or at the end of those effected.
It should be noted that the changes are ongoing, and will settle over time.