The Woolly Google Update

The latest update from Google is out. You can check to see if your website was impacted using Fruition’s Google Penalty Checker Tool. We’re calling this update Woolly because it had a broad impact a lot of websites (Woolly’s are generally thought of as big) and many of the sites that were impacted had stale content and or designs. “Woolly” is actually the biggest change in website’s rankings since the December 2012 update. This means that it is bigger than the headline grabbing Penguin 2 update in May!

Google Update Observations

What we know is that there has been a change in what Google considers exact match and partial match domain names. Google seems to have combined slang and abbreviations to be more inline with an exact match words/domains. For example, “getting high” is more synonymous with “marijuana” in the eyes of Google’s domain matching algorithm.

We are also seeing a big impact on websites that had older and widely used WordPress themes. With this update we have not yet isolated if Google actually targeted specific WordPress themes or if the websites that had a negative impact were simply stale and happened to be built with WordPress.

Google did state that Panda updates would be rolled out over several days or weeks. The final update (June 22nd) may have just been the culmination of that process.

Also, be aware that the “Spam Query” update was released a few days before so make sure you differentiate these two updates.

A new Panda update was rolled out in late July 2013. This will be available in GPC around August 8th, 2013.

Discuss Below

Discuss what you’re seeing with your own website below. Provide as much detail as you can e.g. country that you’re targeting, did your traffic increase or decrease, have you been impacted by Panda or Penguin before, etc.
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