SEO and the Panda

Mar 18, 2013

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By: Mike Green

Google’s Panda Update

Pandas. Not something you’d typically think of when discussing a websites SEO efforts. In reality, it has everything to do with your website SEO. Of course I’m talking about the Google Algorithm update termed as Panda. Panda was first released in February of 2011 as a way to tighten the controls over those who try and fool Google into ranking their website. Primarily, it is targeted towards “low quality” or “thin” websites. More specifically, websites who try to over monetize their site by stuffing ads into every readable corner, or sites who lack good original content.

I emphasize the word good. Just having words on a page does not mean you have good content. It needs to be content rich for the user, not for a bot. Google is getting better at distinguishing between the two. Many website owners woke up this morning to find their website demoted in the rankings by the Panda update.

Time For A Paradigm Shift

The web has taught trained us to think in very short terms. We want information on a topic? Go to the internet and you’ll have millions of pages on the topic. You can’t find something you need at the local store? Google has thousands of whatever you’re looking for at prices your local mom and pop store could never compete with. Most websites are developed on the same mentality. Throw some content up with a few life platitudes on your blog, and Google will rank you. This may have been somewhat true a few years ago, but not anymore. A properly formed website takes time to nurture, develop, grow. With Analytics as your guide, you can make great decisions based on how your users are responding. If you owned a traditional retail store in your hometown, and your customers found a picture on the wall as off putting, naturally you’d take it down. Your website should be run under the same premise.

Because of Panda, Google now supports you in that effort. The more user centric your website is, the better it will perform on the web. Its that simple. True, Google still has a long way to go in perfecting the algorithm, but they’re on the right path. And other search engines are following suit.

Fear Not the Panda

Many SEO companies are going to have a rough few months as their clients will be hit hard by these changes. At Innovation Simple, we don’t fear the Panda update, we welcome it. We believe (and have done for a long time) that our clients websites need to be free from trickery or black hat methods to fool Google. Its just not in our core belief to do that to our clients. It’s a harder road to travel but it pays off for us and our clients in the long run.

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