Earlier this year, in February, Google launched its latest search update in the US: Google Panda (or the Farmer update.)
This update was designed to weed content farms out of search results. Content farms are websites that tend to have a variety of content, but most of it is ‘shallow’ and lacking in depth, which often makes the content useless for an internet user conducting a search.
The Panda update is said to have changed over 11% of Google’s search results. Some websites have improved their rankings, some have stayed the same, and some have plummeted since the update was released.
Have you checked how your website is performing in Google searches lately?
To ensure that your website continues perform well despite this update, you need to ensure that your content is :
The less unique and relevant your content, the more likely it is that this update has impacted your website in a negative manner.
Find your point of difference
If you haven’t already, now is the time to identify what your organisation has to offer that is to unique, and to ensure that your website focuses on this with relevant and insightful content that can’t be found anywhere else on the web.
If you would like to avoid your website falling victim to Panda, consider trying to avoid the following:
- Duplicate content (content repeated across your website)
- Unoriginal content
- ‘Shallow’ content
- High bounce rates on your pages (25% or over)
- Short page visit times
This advice is backed by Google. The company suggests that:
“If you believe you’ve been impacted by this change you should evaluate all the content on your site and do your best to improve the overall quality of the pages on your domain. Removing low quality pages or moving them to a different domain could help your rankings for the higher quality content.”
So, if you haven’t already, jump into your analytics account and see if and how this update has affected your search rankings. The update hasn’t been released in Australia or New Zealand yet, and the launch date hasn’t been announced by Google. It is anticipated that it will be released over the next month or two however.
For more information, check out this advice from Search Engine Roundtable on how to try to gain your rankings back if you have been (or expect to be) adversely affected.