Google finally gets patent for the Panda algorithm


Welcome to Greenlight's weekly dose of Blog Watch! It's that time when we share the latest news and insights that have caught our eye. Enjoy!

Cem Ernaz


As Shaun highlighted in last week's Blog Watch, Matt Cutts's team has been very busy cracking down on naughty guest posting. Google labelled 'guest blog posting' (for SEO purposes) as an unacceptable link scheme practice a year ago and started dishing out penalties shortly after Matt Cutts's final warning shot in January 2014.

Shortly after the Myblogguest penalty made headlines, Search Engline Land published a story profiling a manual Google penalty on, an SEO blog run by a seasoned SEO, for publishing guest posts with KW rich anchor texts. Analysis by the webmaster revealed his blog has only a couple of 'suspicious' (9-month-old) outbound links in two guest posts.

The webmaster wrote an open letter to Google's webspam team which received a direct response from Matt Cutts on Twitter. Cutts asserted  the guest posts in question are "off-topic" and implied they are the reason behind the site-wide manual penalty. The penalty was removed after five days signalling Google's admission of wrong doing/heavy handedness.

Looking at these examples, it is clear guest blog posting for SEO (regardless of the greyish / whitish hue of the specific technique) will be in Google's cross hairs till it updates its algos to ignore/devalue links considered to be unnatural with confidence.


Since its launch in February 2011, the Panda algorithm has been a hot topic among the SEO crowd. Simply put, Panda is a content quality checker scoring sites based on content quality signals. As Matt Cutts specifies here, Panda has become an integral part of Google's indexing. It is estimated Panda impacted 12% of all search results.

Reports out suggest Google has finally been granted a patent for the update although detailed analysis of the patent document has not hit the SEO blogosphere yet. Apparently, some of the text seems to indicate Panda considers whether or not the page being linked to is a navigational result for anchor text to be used.

The caveat here is that this patent was filed for in 2012 and is probably one of many that is currently going through the patent review process. It might just be one small piece of the Panda puzzle that might help SEOs gather more insight into the workings of the Panda algorithm.


Phil Barnes



Native advertising. Have you ever heard of it? Me neither…

According to this article, native advertising is undefinable because it divides opinion in the business world. It goes on to highlight five ways of annoying old-school journalists, people who believe editorial writing and advertising should be kept separate.

I suspect all journalists who have been working in the industry since the 50s know  there are benefits to writing longer forms of copy in advertising (Exhibit A: Volkswagen's famous 'Lemon' print ad).

But I guess this is the point of the article: to highlight the old-school ways of thinking and suggest how journalism has changed over the years. More on the article here



If you're at all interested in advertising and marketing read on. This post summarises branding in a simplistic, easy to follow way and identifies some of the reasons why branding is such a powerful marketing tool. This certainly applies when brainstorming content ideas.


  Henning Knopp


Google has added a tweak to the adwords interface, simplifying the process of getting a click & cost estimate for your keywords. Instead of pulling a report for each keyword, the potential losses and gains can be displayed as a conventional column in the keyword tab of the adwords web interface.

Henning Table

To find the new bid simulator columns go to your keyword's tab and then select Columns > Bid Simulator, or check this for more information: .

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