It would be easy to look at the search engine algorithm changes made over the years and assume that Google has a small stable of animals in their care. Don’t let the cute and cuddly names fool you, though, as the cuts delivered by Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird can cause damage to a website that is impossible to recover from. Before we go into a little detail about Panda, you should understand why Google even makes these changes in the first place.
It is the goal of every site owner to land at the top of the search engine rankings, as that is where the vast majority of potential sales and leads come from. There are those that would try to cheat the algorithm by using Black hat SEO techniques to land at the top. Google makes these changes so that those who stick by the rules can get the credit they deserve, dropping the less deserving back down to where they belong.
The Panda upgrades have been delivered by Google to specifically target the content that appears on websites. Quality content gets a higher ranking and improves the chances of a website taking the top spot. When Panda 1.0 was released back in 2011, the goal was to target low quality content farm websites that were dominating the top spots. Subsequent updates were made to combat the moves made by the owners of those sites to stay on top.
That included such nefarious tactics as “scraping” content from original sites and trying to pass it off as original. Other updates saw more relevance being given to sites in different languages, as well as giving preference to larger sites and those that were heavily involved in Google+.
The question that I’m sure most of you have at this point revolves around what type of things on your site content will not sit well with Panda. There are several, but among the most important are a lack of fresh, original content, stuffing keywords into you articles, short visit times on any given page, too many ads crammed into one space, and a high percentage of duplicate content throughout the site, to name but a few.
One of the biggest items that needs to be addressed in order to avoid upsetting Panda is the way in which you build links. Your goal should be to create quality links as opposed to simply building thousands of links with the same anchor text on sites that are simply not relevant. Links built through e-mail and high quality directories are still very much considered to be positive, so think about going that route.
What you need to be aware of is that Google does not do anything to hide these facts, and they have a set of guidelines that is incredibly easy to follow. If you can stick to what is contained within those guidelines, your site will likely remain totally unaffected any time a new version of Panda comes wobbling along.
Author bio: This is guest post by Mark Ford. He is the Owner of Red Website Design – One of the UK’s leading Website Design companies.