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Towards the end of February, Google launched a major algorithm change known as “Farmer” or “Panda” update in the United States. The aim was to indentify and downgrade the rank of low-quality websites and pages.

As of today, this algorithm change has gone live for all English queries worldwide. This is for both English-speaking countries such as google.co.uk and google.com.jm searches, and for English queries in non-English countries (ie someone making a search on google.no with English language results).

The initial launch in the USA impacted approximately 12% of queries. Early signs are it has had a big affect in the UK too. It’s all been positive for my clients at least – with their rankings improving for a number of their targeted phrases. The same can be said of my own affiliate site :) This change was never going to help get Dixon Jones to number 1 for his own name though…

Google deciding what a low-quality website is will come down to a number of factors. The main aspects will be the text on your pages, inbound anchor text links and even your page load time. Be sure to check your site is doing its best to avoid being negatively affected by the Panda update!