So Google’s Panda update has finally hit the UK, but what does it actually mean? We’ll take you through some of the winners and losers and some of the ways you can make your site Pandaproof.
The Panda update has been introduced by Google in a bid to rid its results of ‘low quality’ content. The recent JC Penney debacle has highlighted the need for the search engine to police its results, in order to penalise sites which deliberately attempt to manipulate its algorithm.
The following are some of the winners and losers of the recent update, based on research carried out by the good folks at Search Metrics.
The following are the 10 biggest winners in terms of page impressions following the update:
No major surprises here. These are all authoritative, user-friendly sites with lots of original, regularly updated content.
Above are the 10 biggest losers in terms of page impressions. So, why have they lost? James Perrin at Impact Media suggests that the reason could be that many of these sites are mainly image based, with little original or unique content. He seems to be on to something, as Google has previously threatened to take action against this.
The knock-on effects
A surprise casualty of this update has been Play.com, who saw page impressions decrease by almost 9% following the update. One of the reasons for this could be the volume of links the retailer has from 10th biggest loser pocket-lint.com, as demonstrated below:
So what will the impact of this update be for you? Well, if you’ve been implementing an SEO strategy that’s centred around article marketing, this could be very bad news indeed. Articlesbase, Ezine Articles and Squidoo are among a number of sites which have been hit by Panda. This means that links from these sites could be de-valued.
5 ways to make your site Pandaproof
1. Make sure that your site has 100% unique and original content and update it as often as possible.
2. Don’t rely too much on imagery, get a good balance between images and text.
3. Don’t link excessively from your pages, either internally or externally.
4. Don’t rely on article writing and distribution for SEO, get a mix of links from partners, directories, blogs and press releases.
5. Use your loaf! Google rewards good user experience, build a site that is user-friendly and you’ll be fine.
We have recently been doing some research on the subject of getting a blog indexed by Google news. After reading many blogs and forums, the following is a summary of the factors which are thought to increase the chances of inclusion.
- Should be completely original and added on a regular basis (ideally at least 3 times a day).
- Should be attributed to at least 5 authors (the more the better).
- Should be linked to from other, relevant sites.
- The blog should have an archive of content (several hundred posts).
- The blog should have a clearly defined theme, e.g. ‘fashion’. This should be displayed on the homepage.
Should be at least 200 words in length.
- Title (no more than 25 words).
- Targeted keywords.
- Author name.
- Date of publication.
Should be regularly commented on by users.
Each post should have a unique, static URL, with a unique number consisting of at least five digits.
Should be included in an XML sitemap, regularly submitted to Google Webmaster Tools.
Should be directly submitted to Google News.
Blogs should have the following pages:
A detailed profile for each author;
- About us – With background company information.
- Terms and conditions.