How Does Google’s Panda 4.2 Affect Your Website SEO?
A few weeks back, Google began rolling out the latest update to their Panda search engine algorithm. As with every algorithm change Google makes, marketers and company leaders are anxious to understand how their websites will be impacted. Well according to Google, the update is still rolling out as we speak, up to months for changes to set in. This will most likely to affect 2% – 3% of English language search queries.
Google has become more and more tight lipped about their algorithms. Less hints, or so called guides are given from time to time. As a matter of fact, Google sometimes skip official announcements over an algorithmic change. Due to the nature of the latest Panda update, it’s important to understand the background and history of the Panda algorithm.
Panda was originally released in year 2011, where Google tries to reward quality contents with good ranking, and penalizes websites with redundant and spammy contents. The same applies, where Panda 4.2 continues to highlight such needs.
History has shown that the impact will not be immediate, since previous Panda updates like the 4.1 saw small to medium sized websites with high quality content ranked higher, so we assume this update will do the same, on a larger scale. However, we have yet to see huge fluctuations, yet. As of now, it is difficult for us to identify who will be the winner and victims of this update. All we can project is that for websites which saw improvements over Panda 4.1 will most likely to receive the same treatment, will those who suffered on previous Panda updates might see slight recovery in rankings. While all of these are pretty speculative works, we are confident that the impact will become clearer in near future.
Marketers should start realizing the impact of all Panda updates, admittedly there are not a lot of specific to share. While there are rumors, and technical guidelines on what to do and what not to do for Panda, we main resolute in one major area- content novelty. Content marketing should be the core of your entire online marketing efforts, contents are the reason why searches began in the first place. Simply put, develop contents that answers your target audience. The intent for Google to rank you in page one has nothing to do with a SEO optimized keywords, but the most valuable and relevant piece to the search query. The days of getting past algorithms with trickery is diminishing. Google becomes smarter as seconds pass, and marketers should focus on developing high quality contents to improve on traffic, and conversions.
The next question is, what is a high quality content in Google’s perspective? Rand Fishkin, an authoritative SEO practitioner in the scene, says about high quality contents:
“I think there’s still a lot of [misguided] belief around quantity over quality…There’s not a whole lot of value in writing a decent blog post anymore. [There’s not a lot of value] unless you can be pretty extraordinary. Ask [this]: If they’re searching for an answer to a question, would they rather reach your piece of content than anything else on the Internet right now? Unless the answer is a slam dunk, ‘Yes, this is 10 times better than anything else out there,’ I’m not necessarily sure it’s worth publishing.”
As it relates to publishing content that is truly unique and original, he offered this helpful suggestion:
“Prior to deciding you’re going to publish on a topic or coming up with an idea, I would go research everything that’s out there and make sure I have the ability to say that this piece is better than this other piece, and here’s why.”
Many speculates that the days for SEO are over. NO. SEO is an ever changing game, or process for online marketers. Only the people who are constantly playing the catch up game will share the view that SEO is over. You have to understand how search engine algorithms work, the contents people are searching for, then only we think about ranking higher. While the entire blog post spins around quality content, lets not forget the fundamentals where technical aspects are in concern. Get you on page and off page elements right, and provide a solid user friendly website navigation, these still score points.