The Panda update has everyone all rowdy in the search space right now. For some websites rankings have been violently disrupted leading to mass layoffs and for some the claim has even been positive. Regardless of how you look at it Google is doing this for a specific reason, user experience. Google is always on a mission to improve the quality of the user experience on their popular search tool. If the same 5-10 content sites always populate in the search results that is not going to help anyone. Was the update abrupt? Possibly. The reality is that we all have to move forward and roll with the punches. You have to be able to shift gears and try to adjust in order to survive. Google has recently released some Panda help tips on their official blog that are designed to help some cope with the new changes.
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Here are some statements from Google
“In recent months we’ve been especially focused on helping people find high-quality sites in Google’s search results. The “Panda” algorithm change has improved rankings for a large number of high-quality websites, so most of you reading have nothing to be concerned about. However, for the sites that may have been affected by Panda we wanted to provide additional guidance on how Google searches for high-quality sites.”
Google realizes that there would be some causalities with this update which is why they are trying to help website owners not only understand the update but push forward and make changes to their future way of doing things online.
“Our advice for publishers continues to be to focus on delivering the best possible user experience on your websites and not to focus too much on what they think are Google’s current ranking algorithms or signals.”
Here is probably some of the more important information they have provided regarding how you can change your marketing path when it comes to content marketing on the web. It is also important to understand that Google will be rolling out different versions of the Panda Update so the ride is not over just yet. You really can’t blame Google for trying to clean up the search results. Sure their ways can be shocking but once user experience gets fowled up that is when things will get weird for Google. Did you really think that this horrendous approach to content marketing that some take would last forever?
“Below are some questions that one could use to assess the “quality” of a page or an article. These are the kinds of questions we ask ourselves as we write algorithms that attempt to assess site quality. Think of it as our take at encoding what we think our users want.
Of course, we aren’t disclosing the actual ranking signals used in our algorithms because we don’t want folks to game our search results; but if you want to step into Google’s mindset, the questions below provide some guidance on how we’ve been looking at the issue:
- Would you trust the information presented in this article?
- Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
- Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
- Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site
- Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
- Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
- Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
- Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
- How much quality control is done on content?
- Does the article describe both sides of a story?
- Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
- Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
- Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
- For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
- Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
- Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
- Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
- Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
- Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
- Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
- Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
- Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
- Would users complain when they see pages from this site?”
Take the time to understand what Google wants out of you when you decide to market yourself or your business online. The landscape is dynamic and it is always changing so you have to be ready for whatever comes your way. More importantly you have to be willing to take a 100% quality approach when marketing your business online.