Google Panda – The New SEO
Google Panda – The New SEO
New Ranking system causes Panda-monium in SEO industry
“Change” is an all too familiar word for SEO experts, but apparently a welcomed one for employees at Google. As if getting to the top of Google wasn’t hard enough already, the fine people at Google just threw a curve ball into the mix. Enter Google Panda, an update launched in February 2011 that will attempt to poison the crops of content farms, sites with low-quality content. This latest update has caused some chaos in the SEO industry as experts have to learn new strategies for getting to the top. However, all is not lost. Some strategies that were effective before Panda are still useful. The information below will explain what has changed and how it can be used to optimize your website.
1. High-quality content. This should be nothing new to SEO experts. Google has always placed a great deal of importance on websites that contain high quality content that viewers will find useful. Google wants its users to find what they are looking for quickly. However, this idea seems to be the single most important factor in the Panda update. But, how does Google determine a site’s quality? Do Google employees actually sit at their desks all day long and rate the quality of millions of websites? The simple answer is no. However, Google developed Panda after countless hours of research. So, Google Panda is designed to think like a human being. It uses artificial intelligence to determine the difference between high and low quality content. The term “high-quality” is subjective though. In order to determine if one’s site is of “high-quality” one must first understand how Google defines the term. Below is a list of questions to ask in order to determine if a site is of “high-quality”.
If the answer is yes, chances are other viewers will too.
Does the site have duplicate, redundant, or overlapping information?
If this is true, Google will punish the site and give it a lower ranking. Google wants websites with fresh and original material. Google crawls millions sites daily looking for duplicate content. This technology allows Google to crawl on multiple pages of a given website in an attempt to find duplicate content. If a site is found guilty of this, Google will rank this site lower than the site with the original content.
Does this site have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
Through the use of technology, Google crawls sites looking for these types of errors. Review your site for spelling and stylistic errors to ensure that you are not making any of these mistakes.
Would I be comfortable giving credit card information to this site?
If you can’t trust the site with your credit card information, other viewers won’t either.
Does this site have an excessive amount of ads?
Google places high importance on the ratio of ads to original content. Too many ads on a page will make Google think that it is a low-quality site.
Is this a page I would bookmark?
If this is a site that you would bookmark, chances are you will be returning to the site. Sites receiving traffic from returning viewers will rank higher in Google.
2. Make the site unique. Google ranks a site higher if it contains information, research, and analysis that is unique and original. When posting information to a site, make sure it is original. If the information has already been posted to another site, Google will punish you with a lower ranking. Encourage viewers to stay on the site. Google rewards websites based on how often users stay on the page and how many pages they visit. Google also tracks the bounce rate of sites. This refers to the percentage of users that “bounce” from a given site back to the search results.
3. Use keywords effectively. In the past, SEO experts would use a tactic known as keyword stuffing to increase the Google ranking of a site. Keyword stuffing, or keyword spamming, is the process of filling a site with keywords in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking. However,
the new Panda update has cracked down on this tactic. Check the site for the following criteria to ensure that your site is not guilty of this:
Lists or paragraphs of keywords that are randomly repeated
It is important that you don’t include keywords in Alt and Title tags for an image. Google can mistake this for keyword stuffing.
4. Use social media and in-bound links to draw traffic to your site. Facebook and Twitter should be used effectively to increase traffic to your site. Post links to both of these sites to encourage viewers to visit them. Also, focus on obtaining trusted in-bound links. In the past, the more in-bound links you had the higher your Google ranks. However, Google has recently placed more emphasis on quality rather than quantity. It is important to have many in-bound links, but you want to make sure that those links are coming from high-quality, trusted websites. The more traffic you can draw to your site, the higher your Google rank.