Google Panda represents one of the most significant changes to how companies manage their SEO, and for all the panic and drops in site rankings it caused, Google should have chosen a more aggressive animal. The adjusted algorithm was created to devalue the importance of sites that used linking tricks, ad spam and low-quality content across several indexed pages just to return high-ranking search results. The result was a higher emphasis on high-quality content, less spammy text and fewer but more informative pages.
Duplicate content has become one of the most important concerns since the launch of Panda. In its initial release, many developers complained about scrapers ranking above the original content. Since those days, Google has placed a large emphasis on original content, penalizing sites that duplicate materials. The initial strategy many developers took to this update was to order rewrites of existing content. However, rewrites are not enough with Panda. The goal of Panda is to rate sites with the best content at the top, which means that poorly written content, even if it is original, still ranks below well-written content, even if the well-written content is a little less optimized otherwise.
What this has meant for developers is an increase in costs. Good quality content requires better writers, and better writers require more money. That doesn’t mean that good content is now out of budget for developers though. Developers should aim instead for fewer pages with tighter copy rather than spreading thousands of words across dozens of pages. Each page should cover one topic with minimal cross-over between pages so as to avoid looking spammy. Keywords should be tailored for each page, targeting a primary market but with enough variation to add value to the page.
Survive Panda with Quality Content
Content is key with Panda, but the overall layout of the site is also important. Poor design can drive a user back to the search results, and Google will use that information to determine that the site did not fulfill its intent. Instead, sites should aim at drawing in users to an initial page and providing a reason to click through to others. Google will use that activity as an indication that the site is providing value to its users and will rank it higher in response. Developers should also avoid ad-heavy campaigns. Too many ads will make the site appear spammy, which will drop the site down the rankings until it disappears from the front page altogether.
In response to Panda, developers need to be prepared to make major changes to their existing sites like removing old content and empty pages. Old content might seem like it’s doing something, but investigating the metrics will often show that it isn’t. If something isn’t generating traffic, it should be pulled from the index or eliminated because Panda will count that dead weight as a penalty. Developers looking to get the highest rankings will need to be honest about their content and what it delivers. If the words aren’t driving users onward, they’re driving them away, and no amount of layout changes or ad campaigns are going to make up the difference when Panda puts the site on page 10 of the index.
Panda isn’t a difficult animal to tackle, but it does require a few changes in how developers view content. The days of dozens of pages pointing back at each other with minimal offerings are long dead. The era of the Panda has changed how developers approach content, and that trend is sure to continue in the years to come.
This article was submitted by Lewis Jacobs, a technology enthusiast and internet researcher. He has created many articles and also has done writing for many websites. You can find some of his work at internet.hughesnet.com.