Latest Panda update goes live, affects local search

It seems like Google has gotten into the holiday spirit and is feeling quite generous lately. However, their gifts may not be totally appreciated by local SEO specialists after the company confirmed rumors in search marketing forums and announced that it had indeed released the latest Panda update to its search functions.

The Panda update is the 22nd overall and the second in November, just 16 days removed from Panda 21. The most recent update was not a particularly strong one, but still effective enough that some local search marketers may experience the aftermath: 0.8 percent of English-based queries were affected to a noticeable degree, as were 0.4 percent of worldwide queries.

Updates to the Panda algorithm, which was unleashed on the web in February 2011, is Google's way of doing some maintenance when it comes to search results. The algorithm focuses on rooting out low-quality sites that somehow get good page ranks. As ever, it's highly important for businesses to maintain solid local search marketing practices in order to avoid getting hit by the update.