Google has just released an algorithm change, Panda 4.0, so what does this mean?
A bit of background
The goal of a good search engine (Google being the biggest by far) is to deliver the results that will be most helpful to the user. To do this search engines deliver their search results using complex algorithms that determine the website rankings for particular search terms, user location and user previous search behaviour. Google has naturally been working hard to make their algorithms deliver the right results and to penalise sites with poor quality content.
First released on February 11th 2011, Google Panda is an algorithm designed to target sites with poor quality content, preventing them from appearing on the search engine results pages.
Poor quality content can include:
– Duplicated content
– Automatically generated content
– Plagiarised content
– Content with little substance or relevance
– Pages with excessive advertising
– Content with too many keywords
What Panda 4.0 means for you
The latest update to Panda 4.0, released on the 21st May, is a full update to the algorithm rather than a refresh. It has been rumoured that the update may include a ‘softening’ of the algorithm towards small businesses and potentially leniency towards poor content before the algorithm takes action.
Panda is actually great news for you if you create your own content and are genuinely trying to help your readers, which is of course the point of Panda. To avoid being penalised by Panda and put yourself in a good place with Google you should observe the following golden rules:
– Update the content of your site regularly
– keep your content relevant to your users and your site
– write primarily for your readers (that’s you folks!)
– write original content
– be engaging
– ensure that your page headings and titles are relevant and do not duplicate other pages
Or to put it another way, do your own work!