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It’s out, says Barry Schwartz of SearchEngineLand.com. At the highest level, the Panda part of Google’s algorithm is designed to take sites with the best content and put them at the top of Google’s search rankings. The opposite is true for sites with thinner, spammy content.

Google’s actually been rolling out Panda updates to its algorithm on a monthly basis. But, this update is a little larger and impacts around 7.5% of all search queries, so it’s worth talking a little more about.

How do You Know if You have “Spammy” or “Valuable” Content?

Let’s take a look at a search query to get an idea of what Google does and does not want. For this one, we searched on “cloud computing:”

panda

The result at the top is actually number two, while the PCMag.com result is number three, and the Webopedia result is result number four.

So we’re all good to go right? These search results seem to be pretty credible, don’t they? Well, let’s take a closer look before rushing to judgment.

 

 

What is Cloud Computing? – PCMag.com

Here’s what the PCMag.com search result looks like when you click through:

cloud

Now if you read this article, or at least the beginning of it, it has a very interesting introduction. It sounds unique. It seems like a skilled writer wrote it. Cool, that’s a nice piece of content people will click on and want to read.

Let’s take a look at the Webopedia search result:

cloud12

This information isn’t quite as interesting or well-written. It’s written more like an

encyclopedia article, which is what this site tries to imitate. That generally doesn’t interest web readers as much. And, it’s also fairly general information you could find on many sites on the web. It’s not totally original content, which Google doesn’t like as much.

Google’s looking more for articles like the one from PCMag.com. That article is written by an author you can get to know, like, and trust. And he’s writing in a one-on-one conversational style to attempt to connect with readers.

Long-term, Google wants to take Webopedia-type content and move it lower in its search rankings. If you scour the internet carefully, you’ll find many websites that do exactly what Webopedia does.

Press Releases are Also Being Attacked

Google has targeted press releases before, and with Panda 4.0 they’ve done it again. In the old days of SEO, some companies would send out a press release exclusively to get more links. The piece wouldn’t contain any real news. It was a great way to get more links.

But now, Google knows the difference between natural and “built” links better than ever. It wants quality press releases that aim at genuinely providing real news at the top of the SERPs.

So, it’s beaten down the SEO visibility of press releases to keep them from being exploited by some internet marketing pros. PRNewsWire.com, according to Barry Schwartz, took a 63% reduction to its SEO visibility. A similar event occurred for PRWeb.com, BusinessWire, and PRLog.

If you have genuine news going on at your business, release it. Otherwise, don’t use press releases.

The New Golden Rule of the Web: Write Your Best Quality Content

More so than ever, Google’s forcing the internet to improve its quality of information. There’s still plenty of work to be done, so prepare for more Panda updates.

When you write anything for the web, commit to writing the very best you can to contribute the most value possible. If you do that, your search rankings will be just fine for the long-term.

 

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