This is something that’s been a hot topic for several months. I can’t count the number of emails I get each week about Google Panda and what’s this means for the content. The fact is many people are scared because Google is really crunching down on blogs that have a history of low quality content and poor internal link building. I wrote a 3,000 word post on Google Panda and what it means for search going into fundamentals of writing content, interlinking and history of the algorithm update. For those of you NOT aware, Google unleashed a series of updates over the last 2 years that transformed the SERP’s and even gave â€œqualityâ€ content a whole new meaning. Anyways,
Since the previous content received close to 1,000 shares in 3 days, I decided to give a quick breakdown of what Google Panda and how it can affect you going forward. It’s obviously a hot topic and people are still asking questions on what they can do to avoid being penalized.
Let’s get started…
After the Google Panda updates, they started to penalize….
Google went after websites that gathered content for all over the web and posted it in one location. By doing this your spreading duplicate content over the web which decreases the value of search results. You have to remember people searching on Google are looking for high quality unique information and having the same content appear decreases user-value. However, there are a few reputable websites that have done very well by aggregated content and their success can be attributed to the type of content they republish. These blogs have joined partners with websites in different niches and have exclusive rights to their content. They are even able to edit some of the content under the agreement they have with popular blogs. Next,
Aggregated content when NOT moderated creates an environment of low quality content floating around the web. Google focuses on promoting quality content through the ranks and republishing content, especially when NOT moderated, can be costly to Google’s reputation.
Create high quality content and don’t aggregate content. If you do find yourself creating a blog based on curating content then establish some exclusive partnerships with reputable blogs Personally this option is very difficult so I would avoid this approach all together.
Sites with Thin Content
Some of the hardest hit websites when the update first rolled out were thin content websites. However, I still continue to see a drop on major websites even today. Penalizing website that publish â€œthinâ€ content was the most sophisticated algorithm change and it was brilliant. Google noticed a pattern among affiliate websites or those selling a product. They would create â€œ1â€ homepage with solid content to help rank higher within the SERP’s, but the rest of the website would contain content with no more than 400 words. The problem with such websites was people would arrive hoping to find an in-depth solution and then be redirected to a third party products. Your left wondering how a poor quality website with â€œ1â€ page of good content was able to outrank several others. It’s because they build a solid homepage to manipulate the search engines.
Focus more attention on the role interlinking plays within domains. Google crawls pages following the internal & external linking on a website. They started focusing on how pages interlink and started to notice a pattern. High quality websites have several internal links, but thin content websites refuse to link to other pages because there is no value anywhere else on the domain. Next, for those that manipulate search bots by linking, Google started to check for other factors on the pages. For example,
- Length of content
- Social shares
- Deep linking
- Keyword density
All these factors provided a good indication of the entire quality of the website.
Low Quality Content
Did you know the average word count of the top 10 SERP results is 2,000+? It’s no wonder these websites are creating longer content because that’s the only way you can create something in-depth and worth getting ranked for. To improve the user experience, Google started rewarding websites with high quality content by bumping them up in the ranks. High quality content can be correlated with the other ranking factors to give Google a clear indication of the pages real value. For example,
High quality content tends to attract more social engagement, a higher CTR, external links, lower bounce rate, etc. All these factors when combined indicate to Google they have a high quality page that deserves to outrank the rest. However, when writing your content ensure you checkout your competition and do things differently compared to them. Add images, videos and wording so your solution is the best available on the web.
The next time you write content, think about…
- A common problem within your niche and provide people with an entire solution
- How to increase social shares
- What you can add to the content so people engage with it longer (split down lengthy paragraphs, format correctly, etc)
- Attract external links because high quality content mixed with authority external links is a winning combination.