Google Algorithms

Panda Update - Targeting Low Quality Content

Google are always making updates to the Google Algorithms, which depending on what they target may have already had a major impact on some websites' levels of visitors. It is known as the Panda, or Farmer update and here's what you need to know about it.

The Panda update affects search engine traffic, so if your website doesn't get a huge amount of organic search results, you don't need to be too worried about it. For those of us who get large volumes of traffic from organic search engine results, should we be concerned?

If you currently make a large amount of money from an online venture, then updates to Google algorithms can have a major impact on both traffic and income, so you need to be aware of updates, as well as how search engine friendly your pages are

So What's the Point of the Panda Update?

Google are constantly changing and updating their algorithms, and the Panda update just happens to be one of the bigger changes in recent times.

The job of any search engine is to bring back relevant results to searchers. The better they are able to do this, the happier the searchers are and the more likely it is that they will stay using that particular search engine, rather than changing to another one.

Google, like any of the other search engines wants to minimise the number of 'junk, spam and low quality' websites that appear on its listings.

What Does This Mean for Website Owners?

We all need to seriously consider the quality of the content on our sites. Without knowing the intricacies of the Google algorithms (which only a select number of people do), we can make some pretty good assumptions based on material released by Google themselves. 

To avoid your website being listed as 'low quality' you need to have a look at several factors-

Keyword usage

- keep it natural, overuse of keywords and unnatural use of keywords

- page content not matching keywords and meta-tags


Content

- this includes using duplicate content, something that has always been frowned upon online

- keep it original - how are you different from your competitors?


Visit times

- short visit times on a site

- high bounce rates

- low clickthrough from Google results


Linking

- a low number of, or low quality inpointing/inbound links


If you have been negatively affected by the Panda update it might be time to have a good look at the pages that have been penalised and note how they are different to other pages on your site. If they are different, review the list above, and consider updating your pages, or removing them if you have large numbers of pages with near duplicate copy.

Always keep in mind that the building of high quality content pages will keep you in the search engine rankings, even when there are tweaks being made by Google. 

Nicole O'Reilly


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