Last year, several persons are talking about the most impactful update of Google algorithm. It is referred to as Panda or Farmer (because it seems to target ‘content farms’). The change came about as a means to improve the general quality of search by ‘weeding’ out websites that are not of the quality standards. The question is: what are the implications for SEO and how can you optimize your advantage.
Google’s algorithm changes are frequent and most times subtle. This is not so with Panda. Last February found Panda in the US, impacting on about 12% of total search queries. Since then, there has been a roll out to every English-language search globally and there is the anticipation of a similar effect.
The update is intended to aid the researcher in finding details having actual worth to them – not simply the ideally optimized information for search phrases. Specifically, this means uprooting websites that have huge amounts of unnecessary and substandard content that is called ‘content farms.’ On these websites are mass-production of content that particularly target frequent search queries. There is little quality in the thousands of articles written on a daily basis which are generally done by persons from developing countries and who are normally underpaid. This also results in very low standards and poor usage of English.
The problem is that these websites are most times ranked higher than content that would really benefit the searcher. Panda aim is to amend this by rewarding websites with content of high quality and making those of less quality content to be less visible.
The impact on site rankings
There have been questions in the air about the implications of the update. Several websites have seen significant changes in search rankings – for some, the change is better, for others it is worse. Ranking drops are significantly noticed by content farms as well as scraper websites – ones that specialize in copying content from the internet elsewhere and publishing it on their sites. The good thing though is that a few websites with information of high-quality have received a reward by way of higher rankings.
What does this implies for SEO?
Panda update certainly emphasizes the need to have unique and quality content. Based on that fact, Panda may consider websites that have the following characteristics as low-quality.
- High level of duplicate content
- Too much ads – especially those irrelevant to the site
- Title tag and page content not in sync
- Abnormal use of language or inadequately written English – inept utilization of SEO, for example, like excessively using keywords
- Lots of short articles being the most part of your content
- High-level rate of bounce
In the nutshell, content is king. Having original and quality content will definitely be beneficial to your website and minimize the risk of being penalized by Google whenever a new Panda update occurs.