October was a big month for Google Updates.

Panda Update

The Panda update which started at the end of September continued on for a few weeks into October. The Panda update targetted sites weak on content. Find out more about this update here.

Penguin

More than a year after the last Penguin update, Penguin 3.0 was released around October 17. The exact timing of this update has been unclear, but Google confirmed that this update was spread out over “weeks”, and there are reports that this update is still going. The Penguin update targetted sites with a poor backlink profile. Find out more about this update here.

The unusual thing about both Google updates was that they were spread over a period of weeks, where as typically each update is rolled out at once. Another unusual aspects of these updates is the fact they were both placed so close together. Google usually doesn’t place such large important updates so close together, and considering each update was focussed on the two most important aspects of a site doing well in Google: 1) Content, 2) Backlinks, it’s easy to speculate that Google aimed to really impact sites and force site owners take notice and treat their sites with a higher level of importance.

Over the campaigns we’ve worked on, what we’ve observed is minimal impact due to Penguin. Panda has been a different story, and sites that have been light on content or not regularly updating their content having been hit the hardest. On the flip side, our clients who have been following our recommendations and regularly updating content have seen strong improvements as a result of these updates.

Two other Google updates during October:

1) "In The News" Box – this update brought about the ability for the content to show up in the “In The News” section of Google for more than traditional News sites, and potentially for any content that Google deems newsworthy. This raises great opportunities for sites doing quality SEO and have content Google will see as being ‘News’. Find out more about this update here.

2) Pirate 2.0 – This update is not one that will likely have an affect on your site, but one that targets the sites involved in piracy and copyright infringements. We’ve included this as it is an interesting thing to note that while Google has historically been about ‘not filtering results’. Updates such as this show more involvement in controlling search data that users may be looking for. Find out more about this update here.