Search Engine Optimization: Google’s Panda Going Ape on Old SEO and Content Marketing Habits
Search engine optimization evolved from the prioritizing by seniority of organically-grown sites, based on rankings determined by keyword search relevance. SEO has advanced to the point that it is nearly unrecognizable in relation to its humble origins.
The evolution was the symptom of search engine algorithm updates. More comprehensive updates typically put content and site developers on edge until the consequences of the changes are fully understood.
While all search engines make algorithm updates, none are followed as intently as those Google makes. And what do you know? Google has done it again, in a major way: Panda 4.1.
Now that Panda 4.1 is here and has been in operation for several weeks, the only question we Google puppets need answered is: how do we best market our content with the new algorithm changes in mind?
According to several industry experts, there are three dramatic new or improved filters in Panda 4.1 that we need to be aware of in order to maintain high-quality control standards when marketing content on Google:
The Big Three of the New P
No “Thin” Content
The biggest change industry experts are focused on after analyzing the new algorithm’s consequences is a filter within the algorithm that recognizes and devalues what Google calls “thin content.”
Adrian Berry of HelloEvery1.com explains, “Google is serious about removing poor quality content from its search listings.” His comments seem appropriate, considering the fact that Google believes this component of the new algorithm will affect up to 5% of all websites.
While the change may seem harsh to those whose websites drop in the rankings, it also means those websites brimming with quality content will move up.
Duplicate Content a Sin
As end users, we all hate duplicate content. However, in the past, developers were often rewarded for doubling up. That is no longer the case. 4.1 recognizes superfluous content as an attempt to cheat the rankings and is, therefore, penalized in the rankings.
Dropping the Hammer on Spun Content
In another show of respect and appreciation for writers — through its algorithm changes, Google has proven to be a fan of writers –, Google made it a priority to begin filtering out machine-generated content. Spun content on a website will now cause that website to drop in rankings, so seeking out a ghostwriter for hire and instructing him on the creation of useful, relevant content is even more vital than before.
Eric Sornoso of SEOBlog.com wrote of modern content farms, “[some] had somehow slipped through the cracks in the previous Panda rounds… but [as a result of 4.1] were demolished nonetheless.”
Google Giving a Leg Up to the Little Guy
Marketing Land Columnist Jim Yu pointed out that Google is making an effort to help small business and start-ups — the niche businesses. In his testing, these websites fared better than “the broad informational site. Websites with a lot of general information on a variety of topics were negatively impacted.”
Standing by Their Word
Google has long promised that its primary objective is to create the best experience for the end user. Looks like Panda 4.1 is more of the same.
Ryan H is a full-time writer living in the high mountains of Costa Rica. When not behind the computer, he spends his time kayaking and guiding on the rivers in Central America. Ryan boasts that he is fluent in Spanish, but his Latina wife argues he can only speak “Ryan.”