The big news in the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) world is the recent
release of Google Panda 4.0. If you're looking for this new app in your
Google+ account, don't bother, Google Panda is one of Google's many
algorithms that determine their search result rankings.
While done in the name of fairness, Panda 4.0, like many of Google's
modifications, has resulted in wide-ranging change to positioning within
Google search results. It even caught some of our clients in the net.
For the uninitiated, Google is now targeting websites publishing copied
content or poor quality content more aggressively than ever. Panda 4.0
encourages publication of fresh, unique, user-friendly content.
The primary target: websites that 'scrape' content from other websites
for publication on their own.
This will challenge operators engaging in questionable content practices,
however, it seems at the same time legitimate operators are also being
For example, consider accommodation portals such as Wotif and Expedia.
Individual Accommodation providers using these platforms provide the
content themselves, which in our experience is typically fed directly
from their own website.
Should parties engaging in this type of practice be penalised by Google?
Does Google expect the Accommodation provider to write a unique
description for every Accommodation portal it advertises with?
Only Google can answer these questions.
So what do the new changes mean for your website, and what can
you do if you've been "hit"?
Google's own suggestion is "If you believe you've been impacted by this
change you should evaluate all the content on your site and do your best
to improve the overall quality of the pages on your domain. Removing low
quality pages or moving them to a different domain could help your
rankings for the higher quality content."
HCD Tactic: Go through your content and
give it a good spring clean. Rewrite your old content, remove
duplicate content, and add new content that brings life back to your
Considering that SEO tactics at the moment consider the entire user
experience, such as website navigation and having an intuitive website
structure, mobile optimisation, and user-friendly content and metadata,
it might also be time for a redesign or rebuild of your website.
No doubt, Google is being inundated with enquiries from businesses and
website owners who have been penalised over the last fortnight, asking
why they have dropped down the search results and what they can do to fix
If you think your website has been penalised unfairly, you can contact
Google and ask them to restore your rankings.
We've compiled 5 useful sources for more information about the latest
Google Panda release, and advice about what you can do to recover:
Google Panda Update
Google Panda Tips
Google Panda Update Survival Guide
High Quality Web Sites - The New Google Ranking
How to run blogs that inspire