For better or for worse, Google periodically updates the algorithms it uses to generate results for your search queries. Beginning in February 2011, the so-called “Panda” updates have filtered search results, placing higher quality sites near the top of search results, and those with “thin” content near the end. The latest update, dubbed Panda 4.1, Google’s 27th confirmed update since beginning them, is a “slow rollout” that is predicted to affect 3-5% of search queries, depending on location. While all Panda updates are designed to eliminate low-quality returns on search inquiries, the latest updates are to be more precise, and will benefit small and medium size websites with high quality content. If you’ve ever heard Ryan or Kim talk about the importance of a website having unique and specific content, it’s becoming much more important for search engine ranking of your organic site.
Last week’s update will affect the whole community of bloggers and web developers in terms of SEO content. Some websites have complained of being unjustly affected by recent Panda updates, and some genuinely have, but largely, Google is striving to eliminate “content farm websites” and boost content producers who publish websites and articles of merit. Websites that use “affiliate” content from a manufacturer or industry association, for example, providing the base content to all their affiliates, will likely see further negative impact on their organic rank.
To survive and flourish in the post-Panda 4.1 Googleverse, make sure your web page contains no duplicate content and that you focus on search engine optimization tactics that emphasize a human audience, rather than just garnering attention from search engines. Cultivating ethical SEO practices and long term investment in your website through keywords, backlinking, and writing quality content will not only make your site more relevant, but it will also be viewed and ranked more favorably in Google searches despite any updates.
As Google Partners, Ad House Advertising is well-versed in all Google marketing strategies and can advise you on how to boost your presence on Google searches and more. Take for example a real estate firm that we worked with to improve their web presence. Previously the website used data pulled in from an industry multi-listing service. When Ad House helped them to launch a site with unique content in December 2013, their metrics improved dramatically- with users staying longer on the site and browsing more pages, ultimately resulting in greater exposure and better quality of traffic.