Time sure does fly, doesn’t it? Around this time a year ago, Google rocked the foundation of the internet by rolling out Panda, the controversial update that would forever change the approach of SEO marketers far and wide.
The update vowed to shake things up, and boy did it ever have an impact. In this article, we will take a look at what SEO marketers should have learned a year after the controversial Google Panda.
Quality Over Quantity
One of the biggest targets of Google Panda was low quality content. The World Wide Web is chock full of useful, interesting content, but there is definitely a fair share of useless garbage mixed in there. Unfortunately, the quality of this content did not matter when it came to search results.
In fact, web pages featuring some of the most horribly composed content were soaring high and enjoying top rankings due to good optimization. That is, until Google Panda came along. The update aimed to stamp out low quality content and at the same time, sent a message to SEO marketers that useful material is what the new system would show favoritism towards.
The other half of the quality over quantity aspect ties in with Google Panda’s stance on duplicate content. It is quite common (less common now) to find the exact same article published on different sites.
This was something Google eventually came to frown down upon because having the same content in the results pages essentially lowered the quality of the listings. When Google Panda went into effect, websites featuring duplicate content were hit – hit pretty hard. As a result, many of the so-called content farms made dramatic changes to their policies in regards to original content. Some did a clean sweep and deleted tons of existing material.
Panda Didn’t Exactly Get it Right
For all the hype around Google Panda and all the changes it invoked, the update was far from perfect. Yes, some of the sites guilty of harboring low quality and duplicate content suffered, but so did a number of sites you could call innocent victims.
This group consisted of several smaller businesses, which prompted a few observers to accuse Google of blindly targeting the little guy with its cleanup initiative while giving bigger brands a pass. Regardless of the suspected shenanigans, what is fact is that Panda missed a lot of the targets it was aiming for, evidenced by the alarming amount of low quality content still hogging space in the results.
To close, SEO marketers now know that Google Panda has made the quality of content more important than ever. Sure, some sites may have slipped through the cracks, but long gone are the days when you could count on good optimization to carry less than stellar material. Accuracy of the update aside, Panda was all about providing more value to the user and in the end, that is what all SEO marketers should strive for.
Email marketing expert, Aidan Hijleh is a freelance copywriter and serves as the Non-Profit Partnership Liaison for Benchmark Email. Aidan advocates free email marketing services to assist with the flourishing of grassroots organizations.