For business keen to stay in Google’s favour have been asking questions about the introduction of Google’s Panda / farmer update to the UK on April 11th
“What does Google Panda / farmer mean for my website?”
What is the Google Panda Update?
The first thing you should know is that Google has a set of rules called an algorithm for returning search results. You can split it into two parts. The first part returns all of the pages that are relevant to your search term and the next part ranks them in order of relevance to your term. This is intended to return web pages that you will be interested in on the page one.
The Google Panda update is a change to the way the second stage works. Google has implemented Panda to try and make the way that web pages are ranked more relevant and so delivery better results to you when searching.
Why have Google implemented Panda?
Google was under criticism recently regarding the quality of its search results. The cause of this was Spam content in many forms and guises, most notably:
- Duplicate content. For example, thousands of Spam pages summarising and linking to an article to boost its ranking.
- Spam content. For example, web-pages containing a meaningless combination of words that has been specifically tailored to rank highly on search results but that is unreadable; often with the goal of making money through advert clicks.
Google is always changing their algorithm to try and make search results more relevant. The reason that Panda has had such media attention is due to its level of impact. Google suggests that the change will impact “11.8% of our queries” (a query refers to a single Google search), which is quite significant considering that Google suggested in 2008 that there were 1 Trillion unique web page URL’s. No doubt this has increased since then. I reference URL’s instead of pages because it is part of Google’s algorithm to evaluate which URLs point to relevant new content vs. repeat content.
How does Google Panda work?
Google will never tell the general public the exact working of its algorithms. All they will tell us is the effect that the algorithm is trying to achieve.
In sort the algorithm change aims to identify Spammy duplicate content. The ultimate goal is to penalise content farms and Spammed back links. Do you have an online SEO strategy that involves Spam’like or automated processes to generate back links and content? Chances are that this is the type of thing that will be penalised.
Google wants you to be creating content for humans to read, not search engines.
In some situations Google will also use information regarding the sites that users block to influence how it ranks pages.
How can I make sure my website works with change?
Don’t create Spam content to try and hit search results. Write high quality tailored content that will be relevant to what a user would want if they arrived on your page from a search engine.
If you are building back links then try to build them from quality sources that are relevant to the content of the pages that they are linking to.
Remove Spam content from your website. If you have lots of Spam content on your website then there is a chance that Google could flag the whole site as a content farm. If you have multiple landing pages with tailored content then try and make sure that each page is relevant to the user that is likely to visit it; and if possible write something small and customised for every page so that Google can see that it has unique content.
I would recommend that you take the time to read Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. They are very open about the standard of websites and the sort of content that they are looking to rank highly.
Is this change a good one?
This change is definitely one that I think is for the general good of the internet. It is going to drastically change the Spam building strategy that a lot of “SEO Specialists” employ and it will put a positive slant towards the SEO marketers who are gaining high rankings through quality copywriting.
I would suggest investing time into writing high quality content is the most important thing here. If you would like advice in this area then contact us at any of the points below and we will get our professional web copywriter who specialises in writing content to achieve search engine performance to contact you.
The Official Google blog post on “Finding more high-quality sites in search”
Web index size:
Questions on quality of Google results and spam:
Websites that Google block:
Google Webmaster Guidelines:
Article by Andy Ward and Simon Thomas @ Toucan Internet LLP
To find out more about how Toucan Internet LLP can influence your online success please feel free to contact Simon at the contact points below.
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