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Internet marketers are always on the lookout for announcements from Google when it comes to updates in their algorithms, and for good reason. Such updates can be a real game-changer for SEO experts who are constantly striving to ensure that their webpages are always ranking highly.
But updates like Google Panda can change all that in an instant.
And the thing is, these updates usually hit us like a brick wall with little lead-up or warning.
There’s buzz out there that Google will be hitting us with a new Panda update. Whether or not that’s true remains to be seen, but here are some things we should all know about it.
Google Panda is basically a ranking algorithm that came out 5 years ago to place more emphasis on solid content. In order to make sure that crappy content was discouraged and excellent content was rewarded, Panda came in to highly rank webpages with unique, valuable content and do the opposite with duplicate, unworthy, keyword-stuffed content. That way, when people enter their search queries, they’re presented with the most relevant and highly-regarded content first.
So, how can we effectively deal with another Panda update if one is on the horizon?
The first knee-jerk reaction that many webmasters might have is to automatically remove content that they believe Google doesn’t like and is dinging their site rankings for. In fact, this content should be left as is, for the time being, anyway. Google engineers say that rather than taking such drastic steps, more high-quality pages should be added instead.
Every experienced SEO expert out there knows that duplicate content is a huge no-no in the eyes of Google. But it’s worth repeating for the sake of this article. Duplicate content is just bad news for webpage rankings. If your website is guilty of containing duplicate content, clean it up right away.
While Panda won’t necessarily be looking at word count when it ranks webpages, it’s still worthwhile to make sure that all pages contain enough text to provide the information that people are looking for. It’s unique, valuable, good quality content that Google wants, so give it to them.
Your websites make money through its advertisements, so naturally you’re going to want to include them on your webpages. But don’t do so at the expense of the users’ experience. Google will surely ding your site if it’s got nothing but overly flashy, in-your-face ads that distract readers and send them packing. Make sure you have just enough ads to generate revenue while ensuring a positive user experience.
User-generated content is a great way to engage your audience, as well as rank highly on the search engines. Just make sure that you go through them and remove any comments that are spammy or are poorly written.
A new Google Panda update might be lurking in the background, or it might not. Regardless, it’s always best to be prepared and ensure that your websites are up to snuff in the eyes of Google and other major search engines.