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What is Google Panda and Penguin about? And why should you care?

by: isev

on: 12th March, 2013

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We all know that last year Google made some rather big algorithm changes and then gave them nice cuddly names – Panda and Penguin.

This was basically a better way for Google to understand your website’s content and what it means. Doing this meant some of the more basic ranking signals were changed – and here’s the bit where you need to pay attention – those with poor or lack-lustre content websites found themselves outside of the arctic ranking huddle whereas those with high quality, fresh content-rich websites engaging with social media are on the inside of the arctic huddle all cosy and enjoying their ranking success. For those struggling to get out of the cold or indeed to be enjoying their Panda bamboo and not just fresh air let’s consider…

How content low can you go?

Google can tell if your website content is poorly or badly written. Yes I can see your jaw drop. They can tell if you’ve overstuffed your site with keywords, if you have spelling errors and punctuation errors or if your website is overflowing with ads etc., Trust me, if you’ve now gone hot and clammy and you are looking nervously at your website, you should be as many websites have been knocked off their perches.

Let’s get fresh

Your website needs to be regularly laundered with fresh, well-pressed content – if it isn’t don’t expect any spectacular Google search engine results. Remember: 1. Wash and freshen your website well with any recent relevant events or trends. 2. Rinse website thoroughly again with recurrent or cyclical
happenings – such as sporting events or seasonal info. 3. Finally press, neaten and present your website with updates at least once a month. Remember the
fresher you are the higher your ranking could be, but stale and unwashed will definitely leave you out in the cold.

Recycling or Originality

I’m afraid that it has to be originality to work with Panda and Penguin. In fact for assessing your website’s quality, originality is now one of the most important ranking indicators that Google uses! Yes we know original content is time consuming and maybe it’s just not part of your skill set. Look, there is no shame in outsourcing this job – it just needs to be done right!

In 2013, with Google’s “Author Rank” it’s really going to matter who is creating content and who is linking the content. So now is a really good time to get dynamic on your Google+ profile, as this newest algorithm might undo all your hard work so far. “Author Rank” will allow the content writer to ‘tag’ all their own original copy and identify any duplicate content. Think about it… if you tag your original content to your Google+ profile and your competitor doesn’t who do you think will get the higher search ranking?

Socially – are you persona non grata?

Now this is for all you Facebook and Twitter-shy websites out there. Did you know that Google uses your social content in your search ranking? I can hear the sharp intake of breath, but take a step back and we’ll look at this together. When you’ve made sure that your nice new social profile matches your current brand identity you can get down to THE CONTENT. Remember what you are trying to do here: Your content is meant to reach your existing customers and your potential customers – you need to be interesting, relevant, on-topic. Your social presence matters. And remember: Quality, Quality, Quality!

Is your website built on sand or rock, any signs of subsidence?

Now I know this is going to upset some of you but here I go… How and when was your website built? Did you use a free template or was it built more than 2 years ago? There’s just no way to break this gently. Google pays little ranking attention to badly designed websites built with old or technically flawed code. If you haven’t got your basics right you’re going to have less chance in the ranking stakes.

Maybe this year, maybe next year, maybe never… No do it now!

Panda and Penguin produced considerable changes in evaluation and ranking of websites. We have moved on since inbound links and
keywords and although they still have relevance you must wash and freshen with high quality original content (use Author Rank). Rinse thoroughly with recurrent or cyclic events and Social Media.  Press and neaten with regular updates and make sure you are technically up to date and content error free.

Where do I start?

But if you have reached the end of this blog and you are feeling slightly depressed and wondering how you can fit all this into your working day… let iSEV take all these burdens away. We can make Pandas and Penguins your best friends. We can give your website a full makeover with fresh original quality content; in fact we’ll take years off you! And finally give you a brush and polish to make you a social media A-Lister.

To have a website with a starring role just get in contact with us.

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