Recently, Google updated the algorithm of their search engine with the “Panda” update. These changes caused controversy and wreaked havoc for online marketers. This update pushed content farms, along with certain other websites, right down in the search engine results. Furthermore, it drove the message home to aggressive SEO exponents that there are limits to the amount of manipulation Google will tolerate.
The majority of sensible link building firms backed off. However, many others have carried on gaming the system. Let’s look at how this update will impact on your website’s SEO, and what the implications are for the future of online marketing.
The Point of the Panda
The Panda update was carried out to eradicate poor quality (or spam) content attempting to appear in the search engine results. In response to user feedback, Google is just trying to eliminate the search results that are unhelpful (or irrelevant) to people. Many well established websites have been affected by the Panda update. These sites include Ezine Articles, Mahalo and Wisegeek (and many more). It is surprising to see that Ezine Articles have been impacted, because they do assess and moderate their articles (and even decline some)—although, maybe rather loosely. Now, they claim that they will be stricter with their criteria for accepting articles.
How This Will Affect SEO on Your Website
If you publish content simply for the sake of generating traffic, then you may encounter problems. This is the primary reason why Google implemented the update—because many websites produce a great deal of content, so they can attract more search engine visitors to their site. Inevitably, these visitors will see and click on the advertisements displayed on the website. Generally, these webmasters are not bothered about how good the content is. They just publish it so they can get more exposure for their site.
You should never forget that people desire useful, good quality and genuine information and Google is simply doing its’ best to provide us with this. Granted, there might have been a few unforeseen and (maybe) unjustified casualties, but this can happen during periods of change. Hopefully, Google will resolve any injustices over time.
Going forward, you would be best advised to be more careful about the content you publish online. Ensure that your content is original, unique and useful to people. Do not write articles that are blatantly optimized to rank in the search engines for particular keywords, like some people do. Your SEO writing has to be compelling. It has to be natural. You have to provide value, or your writing simply will not be embraced by Google. Remember, always opt for readability over SEO.
Google have said repeatedly that their aim is to make webmasters think less about SEO, and more about providing a good user experience for people. There is no doubt that back links, on page optimization and keyword density have become far less important. Thus, if you use these tactics too liberally, then they might do more harm to your site than good.