If you find yourself lost and confused in Googleland where Panda and Penguin are two common yet unfamiliar words, you’re not alone. With more than 634 million worldwide websites “out there” and an additional 51 million being added each year, it makes sense that someone lay down the law when it comes to creating web content. This is where Google, one of the largest ISP Internet traffic carriers in the world, has stepped in with the introduction of Panda and Penguin.
Anyone with a website, albeit a large international corporation or a small hobby blog, generally has the same goal: to attract visitors. While some website owners are under the impression that if they build it, people will come, others are well aware that to attract visitors, they need to follow preferred rules.
These rules, which to many have proven more confusing than clarifying, are being applied to everyone “out there” with a website and can blindside even the most established companies who truly believe they are doing everything correctly. Take for example Sprint, Mozilla and BBC, all of whom recently have been Panda-punished by Google for issues ranging from unnatural links to spam penalties.
So how do you avoid the ultimate Panda punishment? Learn the rules. First, it will help to learn what Google’s Panda and Penguin are.
Panda is a system of updates that Google sends ‘out there’ on a regular basis in search of poor quality content. Panda’s job is to look for spun, duplicate and / or general poorly written content on websites.
Penguin, on the other hand, focuses on link patterns, specifically on backlinks, anchor links and (what it considers) manipulative linking tactics.
Understanding what makes Google tick is only the beginning of knowing what it actually looks for in a website. To hit every aspect of Google’s quality requirements would mean writing a series, a very long and technical series of articles that would likely
change again within a few months. Three website aspects however, that do not seem to change (or at least change very much) are as follows:
GOOGLE’S TOP 3 BEST WEB CONTENT PRACTICES
1. Be Original
When it comes to the Panda side of producing Google-happy content, avoid web content that is not original. As a writer, this includes spinning previously published content or duplicating articles that already exist. This also includes pages within your site that are duplicated to target specific keywords or variations of keywords.
2. Write Quality Content
Now that you understand the importance of being original, it’s equally as important that you provide quality content. Your content needs to be strong so that it attracts links naturally (instead of unnatural link building). The goal is to provide a high-end user experience. This means everything you publish, every webpage you have, every blog you post must have relevant information to the consumer that will keep them coming back. Don’t forget that crafting a quality user experience also includes ensuring that all your content is easily accessible. Ensure that your site is optimized and check your website’s load speed to make sure that your content is both user – and Google – friendly.
3. Quality Link Building
There was a time when artificial link building was the way to get ranked quickly, not to mention generate mass revenues; however, thanks to Google’s tiresome efforts this method is no longer effective. While Google admits there are more than 200 “unique signals” considered when ranking a page, pages that are linked to other important websites (including both the number and quality of those links), are deemed more important because they will likely receive additional links from other high-quality websites.
ORGANIC LINKING IS THE FUTURE
Now that you have an efficient website, remember to promote via social media. With sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest, combined with the hundreds of other options out there, spreading the word is easy with the click of your mouse. Participate in any activity that draws positive attention to your website that will, with any luck, result in organic linking.
1. Keep your website fresh and up to date and avoid having empty web pages.
2. A website overflowing in advertisements will likely draw Panda’s attention. A good rule of thumb, avoid letting your ads overrule your content. The goal is to have a nice balance that does not interfere with the user’s experience.
Website owners who fail to recognize Google’s strategy will surely suffer severe penalization. What does it mean to be penalized by Google? It means your website will not be returned in search engine results; and worse, it could be ignored altogether. Granted there are many websites made up of less than original material; however, these sites are being pushed to the bottom of Google’s massive pile. The same pile that consists of 634 million sites.
To learn more about how you can make the most of Panda and Penguin, visit Google’s Webmaster Academy.
About the author:
Marlo Heresco is an international writer, living and working abroad. With nearly two decades of writing experience, she is a successful trend writer providing unique angles on a variety of timeless topics. Her articles can be found in a wide range of print that range from news sites, health, fitness and style magazines, to travel publications. Aside from writing Marlo enjoys fine chocolate, an abundance of shoes, being an expat and life with her dogs. You can connect with her online.