Google’s recent updates have rattled many of our clients, and indeed some of the Monkeys in our own tress recently.
Are your own search engine rankings safe for all your webpages?
Do you have to worry about Google’s next PANDA updates?
So… what is this Google Panda you keep talking about?
Heads up: we're pushing a new Panda data refresh that noticeably affects only ~1% of queries worldwide. More context: http://t.co/0CCOsTzN
— Google (@Google) June 25, 2012
You can’t have missed about the recent Google update named: Panda. What is almost for certain is that your site will have been affected positively or negatively because of the update. There has been a lot of SPIN spinning around about the recent ranking factor change (it has also been called an algorithm upgrade).
The Panda update was the first major change to Google’s “ algorithm” since 2009. Google says Panda was implemented to improve the overall quality of its results (as is ALL its updates!) Eliminating QUOTE “spammy gibberish” sites from their search results.
The #1 target of the PANDA update was all those lower quality sites with shallow or superficial or scraped content. The enormous article sites and the scraper made content farms were hit the hardest.
If you “aggregate” or duplicate content anywhere on your website(s), then Panda might bite you on your Monkey butt for sure.
After lots of discussion and dialogue in the SEO community Google Panda turns out to be a long list of changes.
A very basic short breakdown of what the algorithm is aimed at changing are:
- Is your site’s content highly relevant and informative, or does it have less information than similar, competing websites?
- Is the content substantially unique/original, or does it use content that has been copied from or published elsewhere online?
- Is the site worth recommending and, if so, has it been recommended in the form of social bookmarking, mentions on social networks, blogs, directories and so on?
- Is the site trustworthy and/or an authority, or is it new to the web and/or not linked to as a credible resource from other related websites?
If you can answer “yes” to most of these questions, then your site has probably not been negatively impacted by any of Google’s new ranking change in PANDA. If you cringed at a couple of the questions, well then… Spanky bottom from Google Panda for you!
We think it’s time to rethink your SEO and SMO strategy to adapt to this change.
So what else can we do to future proof our sites against new Pandas?
1. We should all understand that Google wants the same as you and us…
Google (and every search engine) wants to offer all web searchers the perfect solution to their problems. Your website and in turn your products or services also solve the problems of your customers (well we hope they do, if not, concentrate on that and forget about Google for a while, lol!). We all need to show Google that our websites offers the best solution to a SPECIFIC problem.
2. Really focus on your website visitors and Google will follow along…
Some website owners and developers try to create the perfect backlink profile for Google. That’s just NOT how any of us looking for Google to like us should work. Simply put: a backlink is a good link ONLY if it delivers targeted visitors to your website.
The only question that any of us have to ask to find good quality backlinks is “Can we get good website visitors through this link?” (ie visitors who are actively looking for whatcha got…)
If the answer is yes, then for sure we should try to get the link.
However we shouldn’t worry too much about any of these backlink profiles. If you only create a few links that are REALLY useful for real people, Google will love your links. A few good ones give big kudos, A load of bad ones (ie not relevant), well Google will just NOT like ya!
3. Diversify away from Google-Centric World…
Getting website visitors through Google is fantastic because they are just HUGE in this sphere, however it should not be your only source by any means. The adage of all your eggs and one basket….
Each new channel that drives visitors to your website will make you less dependent from Google:
- Get listed on Bing and the other search engines.
- Get links on related websites that can deliver visitors to your website.
- Improve the conversion rate of your web pages and optimize the long-term value of each visitor.
- Develop relationships with companies and people who are related to your business.
Google only wants to show high quality websites in their search engine results. If your website offers compelling, relevant content that offers a solution to any problem, then Google will give your webpages high search engine rankings. Don’t try to please or impres Google. Try to please and satisfy your website visitors. Google will follow THAT!
Simply put: offer good content, get backlinks that deliver visitors and offer a valuable (with a value proposition) website. That will place your business in a secure online position.