Google’s Panda 4.0

Google’s Panda 4.0

Content, Content, Content………sometimes it feels like this is the only thing I talk about with our clients. There is very good reason for this as this seems to be the primary focus of Google both now and for the foreseeable future.

With the recent release of Panda 4.0, Google continues to target sites with low quality content and push them further down the ranking ladder, while simultaneously signaling sites with superior content to increase their ranking position.

We need to take a close look at this to understand what this mean for your site and for the future of search engine ranking results?

The initial Panda updates upset many small business owners, as many saw a substantial drop in their rankings. This came as a result of Google targeting any content that they perceived as having come from content farms. With this latest release there could possibly be a step in a positive direction that will impact the rankings of small business sites that were left behind in the wake of the first Panda update. However, small business owners need to do their part. This means being aware of your site’s weak spots in terms of content and actively fixing those issues.

Content is King (or Queen), and Always Will Be

Being a small business with an aesthetically pleasing website isn’t enough. Google will continue to heavily favor websites with unique and worthwhile content. Content that could be flagged are; duplicate content, aggregated content and scraped content from other sites (among many others).

Business owners need to create a website for users, not for Google spiders. This means avoiding keyword stuffing, creating and updating blog posts, avoiding duplicated content and developing creative content that attracts natural links and social shares.

Does your content offer something refreshing and new? If a potential customer is looking for information on a topical news story, would they want to come across an article that they’ve already read? Provide expert insight into topics that people are generally searching for.

Avoid creating thin content (content with little or no added value) around the keywords you decide to target. The point isn’t to create pages on your site for the sole purpose of targeting keywords; the purpose is to find questions that people are asking, and offer insights and answers to those questions.

The Future of Search

The message from Google is clear, and has been for some time. If you’re not producing interesting and unique content, then you are going to be left behind.

To avoid the Google headaches in the future, make sure your website has content that is intuitive to your audience, unique to your site and offers insight. Ideally, what this does in the long run is endear you to Google, and most importantly to your visitors.

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