What is Google Panda and How does it Affect your Business Online?
Google’s mission is to give users the best possible experience, and that means positioning quality websites high within the search results. Delivering real value is appreciated by customers and Google, and is one of the most important aspects of modern SEO.
Google Panda is a significant change in Google’s search algorithm which focuses on weeding out websites with low-quality content. According to Google, “This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites – sites which are low-value, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites – sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis, and so on. It is important for high-quality sites to be rewarded, and that’s exactly what this change does.”
For Google, trust and authority have always been important, the only difference is that now websites are going to have a much harder time showing up in the organic search results without it. The most notably affected sites are article networks that host too many ads close to poor article content. The change is implemented in order to eliminate ‘low quality’ content, or in other words, ‘spammy’ content trying to rank in the search engines. The Panda update has affected sites like Mahalo, Ezine articles, Wisegeek and a lot of other high-traffic sites.
However, not all sites that were hit by Panda were guilty of hosting poor content. Some of them are losing out because they lost incoming links that were placed on sites affected by Panda.
So how can you make your website Panda-proof and retain high rankings?
- There’s only one real authentic way to build links – create good, quality content that people love and will eagerly link to.
- Make sure your pages are as relevant as possible. That includes making sure your keywords are relevant to the overall theme of your site and accurately reflect your site’s actual content.
- If you write articles, instead of submitting them to article directories which have diminishing link value, submit them to top authority sites like SiteProNews, WebProNews, PromotionWorld, SearchEngineJournal, and others.
- Panda looks at your site as a whole, so if you have pages that are under performing, they can drag down your entire site including pages with good content and links. If a page is simply not performing, you may need to block it or remove it.
- Panda attempts to rate your site based on what real people want. It stands to reason that if real people, i.e. human readers like your site, then Panda will be more favorable to your site as well.
- Remove low-quality content from your website. Use Google Analytics to scan web-page traffic. Review pages that get little traffic and maybe redirect them to more updated, useful pages for visitors.
Reasons to Focus on Link “quality” Rather Than “Quantity”
The SEO landscape is constantly changing, evolving, and transforming into more forms than most bloggers and site owners can keep up with. One thing remains consistent, however: quality inbound links help improve search engine ranking and drive traffic.
In the post-Panda era, link building is always going to be an evolving, shifting and developing art form. Link-building is moving away from quantity, placing more emphasis and importance on link quality and natural links.
- Google’s ultimate goal is to rank websites based solely upon analyzing relevant, earned, and valid site elements. This does not include manipulative link networks, so avoid link-directories and link-farms.
- Quality content is Panda-proof and acts as link bait so that you can attract organic links to your website. Viral promotions to high end content are the key to obtaining quality linking.
- Using social networks to expand customer base and interact more deeply with your consumers is a relevant way of measuring the quality and relevance of a business online, so Google values social involvement. Once your content is created, be sure to promote it on your social channels so it gains maximum exposure and stands the best chance to attract valuable links.
- Google red-flags over-optimized keyword anchor text, so avoid using one keyword or key phrase too many times. Use a link management tool to keep an eye on how many times you use anchor text for your links.
- Having a high quality link host is very important. It immediately spells out your link as a quality link.
Google is always updating its algorithms and looking for better ways to remove low quality content. There is no longer an “easy way out” in terms of link building. Great content will always attract natural links. Of course, you have to promote it and market it to attract attention. But as soon as it does gain some traction, the links will start building – naturally.