If you’re familiar with the term SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, then you’re likely aware that Google updates their search algorithm frequently (and tends to name these updates after random animals for no apparent reason). Keeping up with these changes and the guidelines Google sets forth for ranking web content can be a nightmare. But it’s what we do here at Incredible Marketing and our SEO team has some insight into dealing with these creatures that get released every few weeks or months. Today we take a look at the cutest and cuddliest of the updates;
Panda updates are designed to make sure that poor quality content doesn’t rank high on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), and gives a boost to high quality content. In an effort to get the user the best content possible for their search query, this makes perfect sense, right?
But you’re wondering “How do these Google wizards judge the “quality” of content?”
It’s actually pretty simple.
If the words on the page are unreadable garbage stuffed with keywords and it looks like someone threw up alphabet soup onto your web browser, you can rest assured that the spider bots think it’s crap. The algorithm is very sophisticated these days and reads content like a human. If it sounds bad or has no relevant value to the keywords or topic, it’s punished with a firm swat on the behind and sandboxed down the list of results.
If you have a quality, reputable website with good content, it’s very unlikely that the Panda will maul you but if you do get penalized, it’s time to take a hard look at what’s on your site.
Take a look at your website with an unbiased view and ask yourself if that stuff is really something people would want to read. It should sound natural and original. Most of all it should provide value to the reader, not waste their time. Google won’t serve up your content as the #1 resource for a search query if it’s not something useful. You don’t have to win a Pulitzer with this stuff but it’s best not to sound like you just learned English yesterday.
Recovering from a Panda penalty is difficult but it all comes down to giving your readers valuable, quality content that matters. Avoid the cute tricks and shortcuts, they only make the Panda angry. And what does the world need with an angry Panda? They’re just so… mellow.