As before, Google is taking steps to roll out new updates to Panda and Penguin that are expected to target those sites that have poor quality content and spammy links. It is expected that both updates will carry penalties for violators and so it is a prudent step to review your content strategy to ward off any risks of penalties from Google.
Panda has been consistent in its objective to ensure that quality content is given a high rank that it deserves and bad sites with bad quality content are punished by way of lower rankings in SERPs. Earlier on, until Panda made its first appearance website, webmasters were having a good time because they were using content farms not only to automate the process of content creation but also to create large volume of content. Both these factors had resulted in an unfair advantage being enjoyed by webmasters that artificially boosted their SERPs. So far the Panda updates have reasonably helped in penalizing sites that have bad content and we can see that the updates are now becoming more like slight adjustments that though impactful still serve their objective.
Google Panda 4.1 is the latest version of Panda that rolled out in September and although it still targeting sites with bad content, it is said to promote small and mid-sized websites that have high quality content. This move is expected to help lesser known websites compete against large scale websites. How this works in future, only time will tell.
How to be careful and avoid the Panda penalty:
Do we exactly know what is considered as a bad content by Panda? Below are some pointers that provide information in this direction:
– User Experience is bad: Content that is un-engaging and uninformative and fails to provide any value comes in this category. Such content could invite a strike from Google.
– Very Thin Content: Thin content sites are liable to get hit by Panda as neither do they have relevant content, nor do they have a sufficient amount of content.
– Duplicate content: This is still a negative factor that leads to penalties by Panda.
– Stuffing of Keywords: As above, this is still a negative factor.
– Content that is outdated: This refers to content in websites that is not updated for a long time and sits idle.
Penguin’s role in low quality Content:
Penguin is poised to eliminate spammy and unnatural links. It penalizes sites that indulge in artificial link building through link farms. This is a fair measure because as per Google policies link building should be a natural process with no intervention from individuals or artificial means. Content is the key here and sites that have relevant content should in the natural course of business, build a link naturally that would be far stronger and valuable than a link that is built artificially. Penguin recognizes this fact.
10 ways to work as per Panda guidelines:
– Increase the quality of content. This can be achieved in multiple ways:
o Do a thorough research and create the content that your audience expects.
o Write on trending topics.
o Be lavish with illustrations, graphics and examples.
o Format your work and do checking, editing and proof-reading. Again and again.
– Do an audit of your website and pick out and remove content from it that is outdated and old. For example old and incorrect studies or reports.
– Opt for evergreen content that will always be relevant and never go out of style. This includes content that includes instructions, FAQs, reference material and top tip posts.
– Keep Keyword density around 2% – 4% to generate organic traffic to your website.
– Don’t indulge in plagiarism by copying content.
– Post content that is long and engaging. A length of about 2000 words per post is a good size.
– Stay on the topic of your website and don’t digress from it.
– Format your posts by adding Headers, sub Headers, bullet points and paragraphs.
– Create link worthy content so that it attracts outside content.
– Create content that is engaging and educating so that the user experience is good.