Google has become more and more tight lipped about their algorithms. There are now lesser hints or so called guides emanating from them. Google Panda is a major change to Google’s search results ranking algorithm that was first released in February 2011. The change aimed to lower the rank of “low-quality sites” or “thin sites” in particular websites with contents from “content farms”, and return higher-quality sites near the top of the search results. Put another way, with this algorithm, Google will reward websites with wood quality contents and demote those websites with redundant and spammy contents.
It is evidently helpful for marketers to understand the impact of Google’s algorithm updates. There are copious debates on what to do and what not to do in relation to this Google Panda algorithm update. However, one thing is for sure and that is, quality content is resolutely favoured by Google.
Contents are the reason why searches began in the first place. Therefore content marketing should be the core of your entire online marketing efforts. You should develop contents that would reverberate with your target audience. Not only do good quality contents prompts Google to reward you with better rankings that matches search queries, your target audience would thank you for it. A satisfied target audience would likely become a customer.
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.”
There are naysayers who speculate that the days of SEO are over. We have to respond with an emphatic 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 this discussion focuses on the importance of quality content, let’s not forget the fundamentals where technical aspects of SEO are concerned. Get your on page and off page elements right, and provide a solid user-friendly website navigation, these still score points.