Google Panda – Then and Now
In the beginning, there was the Google algorithm…
…and while it was good, it was missing something…
For you see, while the Google algorithm helped to return search results to the people, there was a lot of spam and low-quality content in those results, and the people were becoming restless. Google saw their unrest and turned their minds towards separating the results with high-quality content from those with content that left something to be desired.
But how could they accomplish such a lofty goal?
After surveys going out across the land, data was analysed and the Panda update was conceived. This update was intended to help weed out the less desirable results from the search pages and promote the better quality content instead. On February 11th 2011 the first release of the Panda update occurred, impacting website all around the world.
How Panda will endure
Since it was introduced, there have been over 20 confirmed and suspected iterations of the Panda update. Recently sources at Google have confirmed that as of March of this year, Panda is now a permanent part of the Google ranking algorithm.
This means that from now on, the algorithm (now including Panda) will analyse each page of your website and assign it a different “score” relevant to the quality of the content. Your content will be ranked depending on the cumulative score you receive from averaging the total scores gathered from your website.
What does this mean for internet marketing and SEO?
Panda changed the face of content marketing as we know it and started a trend toward quality over quantity that is continuing to this day.
No longer can a website get by with thin, lifeless content. High-quality, interesting, relevant, useful content is now the currency of the realm. While to an extent this has always been true, Panda brought the issue of quality to light in a way that nothing had done before. It is one thing for a standard of quality to be known, it is quite another to see it enforced.
Businesses must now focus on providing content that people want to see. Things that are interesting, entertaining, relevant to the business publishing them, and can actually be useful to the user in some way are what search engines are loving these days.
What all of this means for your business
If you have been using content marketing to spread awareness of your brand and build links, now is the time to think about how you’re doing that, and how you are going to continue.
Your first step should be to look closely at the content on your own website; this includes a blog if you have one. Make sure that this content is high-quality and unique rather than lackluster and repetitive. If you have multiple pages with similar content on them, see what you can do to change things up and make each page a little more unique and useful. Add an image, a video, or other media element and consider rewriting the page with a fresh voice.
Sometimes it can be difficult to deal with all of the curveballs thrown by search engines, but if you stick to a strategy that promotes quality over quantity, you are sure to succeed!
Was your website affected by the Panda update? If so, how did you recover?