This week we are looking at the Google Panda algorithm. The Panda is one of the four Google animals we will be covering over the next few months.
To Recap – The Panda algorithm was first released in February 2011, named after its creator, Google engineer Navneet Panda. The algorithm focuses on helping websites with unique informative content appear above websites full of spam, advertising, and copyrighted material.
Why is it important to learn about the Google Panda algorithm when there are over 200 search algorithms used by Google?
We always hear the mantra “Content is king” when it comes to SEO, and in many ways it is. Google cannot yet read images, and so a website’s copy is one of the key indicators Google uses to understand what the site is about and what keywords it should rank for. For some, writing original informative copy is too difficult or time-consuming and it’s just easier to use someone else’s. The problem with this is obvious. How would you feel if a competitor’s website ranked above your own and their content was just a rip-off of your own?
One of the biggest problems on the web today is unauthorised use of copyright material. Google’s answer is the Panda algorithm, one of their most significant spam-fighting algorithms yet within their core ranking algorithms. Panda’s job is to punish and remove sites which have stolen or re-used other sites’ content for their own. The biggest lesson I can teach you here is don’t copy and paste other people’s content onto your own site or you risk having your site penalised.
Panda does its best to identify the original owner of site content and punish those who re-use it. However, sometimes mistakes are made and the original content owner can be the one who ends up being penalised. If you think this is you, contact Google today.
The second function of Panda is controlling online advertising. Many affiliate websites and e-commerce websites bombard us with ads and popups that really annoy us. Google is actively working towards removing these sites as Panda identifies them. So if you choose to show ads on your site make sure you keep it to a minimum.
8 ways to keep your website Panda friendly
The best way is to look at your site as though you are seeing it for the first time and ask yourself (or a trustworthy friend) these questions:
- Do you trust the information on this website?
- Does the content on the site make sense or does it seem to be re-written?
- Would you be comfortable entering your credit card details into the site?
- Are there lots of spelling, grammar or factual errors?
- Is the content stuffed with lots of keywords for SEO purposes?
- Does the site contain interesting information which is relevant to your search topic?
- Is there an excessive amount of ads or popups which hurt the overall user experience and design of the site?
- Would you recommend the site to friends?
With Google having now confirmed Panda as one of its core ranking algorithms, website owners can no longer ignore Panda, and must work towards making their site Panda friendly. This may mean having to write fresh new content for your site if you are at all worried about the possibility of being penalised. Fresh, original, informative and up to-date content is a great start in improving your website’s rankings without blowing your budget.
All Mogul sites are built with best SEO practices. Should you wish to further improve your website’s rankings in Google get in touch with us today.
Part 1: Google’s Animals and what they mean for your website