Archive News

17 August 2011

Have You Been Panda Slapped

Some of you will be aware that Google has been rolling out a major changes in how they index and rank websites. This has been called the Farmer or the Panda update. Many people have been discussing and speculating on what this means to their websites.

Googles motivation as announced earlier in the year on the official Google blog "Our goal is simple: to give people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible. This requires constant tuning of our algorithms, as new content—both good and bad—comes online all the time"

Panda is one of about 500 updates that Google has made to their algorithms and there are many more are expected to come over the forthcoming months. The updates are about penalising "low quality" content and spam tastic websites. By this they mean - duplicate content, "thin" content or keyword stuffed content or anything that can be deemed to be of poor value or lacking in originality.

Googles aims are to reduce high rankings for websites that simply duplicate other peoples content eg: content farms, affiliate sites, some blogs and perceived 'low worth' content.  Google acknowledge that there will be some collateral damage in their universal application of the changes where some genuine websites will get penalised.

A 'Panda slap' - is the term that has been penned to describe what happens if your content gets penalised by Google and your search traffic falls through the floor.

There are some basic guidelines for how to ensure you dont get affected;

Focus on delivering an excellent user experience on your website, check out the advice on Googles offical blog.

Don't employ shady SEO strategies on your website.

Do write original content and take care to write it well with good grammar and spelling.

If you are using other peoples content as a source for ideas - ensure that you are adding to it with commentary or opinion, not just a straight copy and paste as this is; a - technically a breach of copyright and b - might get you penalised in Google.

Do keep an eye on your stats, if you see google referrals falling off then look to see what pages are being affected.

If you are relying on having keywords in your URL then you might see a drop in search, you'll have to now employ a wider range of SEO freindly techniques to climb the Google ladder.

If in doubt ask our team to take a look at your website and stats and advise you on how to improve your SEO.