Since the inception of Google, the search engine has continuously been updating and changing their search engine algorithm to meet the needs of internet users worldwide. They have faced and conquered many of the issues that plagued and even destroyed many other search engine providers (anyone remember metacrawler?) and their latest Google Panda search algorithm is no different.
What is Google Panda?
Google Panda is an algorithm change that is meant to ensure the integrity of the search engine by putting a focus on high quality content rather than other “cheating” techniques, like keyword spamming and cloaking. The higher the quality of your content, the higher you’ll stand to rank on Google.
What to Feed Google Panda
Forget about keyword spamming or writing content that isn’t relevant to what your website’s supposed to be about. The Google Panda has greater dietary needs than that. You need to avoid feeding Google:
- Content that isn’t duplicated content
- Content that has correct spelling and is grammatically correct
- Any nonsensical content
So what should you feed the Panda?
- Original content that provides readers with new, insightful content
- A continual stream of fresh content – the more fresh content your site has, the higher your chances of ranking high on the search engines
- Relevant content that makes sense with the theme or niche of your site
Does this mean that you should throw your SEO efforts out the window? Absolutely not. But all of those efforts should be directly related to whatever the purpose of your website is. Any link, any affiliate products, and any keywords cannot mislead a visitor or be off topic. Keyword density is still important, but focus on the “less is more” approach. Keep keywords at a minimum (1% density) to make sure that the Panda doesn’t think you’re keyword stuffing.
How to Improve Current Content
If you already have a website with content on it that you notice has been affected by Google Panda, then you may have a bit of work ahead of you. Apart from the ensuring that the content meets the above standards, start off by opening up Google and then doing a search on your site to see what pages or posts are appearing on Google from your domain. It’s important to know have only important pages and posts be “search worthy” on Google, otherwise it can severely affect your search ranking. If you find posts that are old or that offer low quality or poorly research content, strongly consider putting a “noindex” or “nofollow” tag on it.
For any article that contains links, you’ll want to ensure that the links go to relevant content and are still useful (i.e. get rid of any broken links). You should be updating these on a regular basis anyway, so hopefully if you have, this should be fairly quick and easy to do.
Lastly, many of those who have tested the Panda search algorithm have noticed that removing the date from their posts will help improve their CTR (click through ratio). Try removing any dates from your posts and see if that makes a difference in your post’s page rankings.