I could write tones on this subject. But I’m going to keep my thoughts on the Google Panda Update personal at this stage.
You’ve probably seen & heard SEO’s all over the world talking about the Google Panda Update – which is now officially rolled out. Panda is an update designed again to show high quality results based on users query & it comes in addition to the recent Farmer update (designed to determine & negate the value of content farms).
Panda in a Nutshell:
The Panda update is designed to:
- 1. Reduce Rankings for Low Quality Sites— Websites that are Low-value to users, sites with low brand signals & copied / unoriginal content
- 2. Improve rankings for High Quality Sites— Established brands, unique & original content & (my favourite) websites that clearly participate broader marketing activities.
What is the Panda Update looking for?
Now before we go any further, the points below are my yet-to-be-proven thoughts – I suffer from Google Paranoia. The way I find answer to my Google queries is to simply think like it – “If want to spot a spammer or low quality site what would I do? I have all this information in my index – That’s it! I’ll create some seriously complicated regular expressions using spam-indicating variables. Bingo!”
With the above in mind I believe there are a number of publically accessible factors that Google could take into account when trying to determine the quality of a website. Here a just a few:
• High amounts of links from easy-to-obtain & low quality sources.
• On-page attributes do not match the query it ranked for. I.e. Page about apples rankings for pears – Screams manipulation.
• A high % of duplicate / unoriginal content & low amounts of original content on a page or website. – This can be internal duplicate content or duplicate content from external sources
• Low click throughs from Search Engines Results Pages (SERPS)
• Registration and Hosting Data – Do you pay a fortune for your web server & domain name?
• High bounce rates & consistent spending 0.00s on site
• Websites traffic is almost all Search Engine based – Again, brand signals.
• Pages frequently appear to have a low amount of original content.
• Irrelevant adverts positioned highly on the page.
• Over On-Site Optimisation – Content reads poorly, contains several variations of the same phrase or word. I.e. Light, light bulb, lamp, LED, Florescent tube…
• High amount of Affiliate links resulting with “in & out” visitors
• Blatant Paid Links from page templates & navigation
• High amounts of links from one-sided / biased / self promoted editorials (Paid links)
• Low percentage of users returning to the website.
• No reference to a Business Entity / Persons Name that matches the WhoIs data.
• Low or no mentions or links to a page or site in Social Media and from other sites such as news, reviews, forums.
Now, if Google is actively looking for the above, then I’d like to think that each of them are awarded their own value i.e. Low quality links = -40. It also very likely that Google won’t just be looking at each of these on their own but rather multiplying the total value depending on the quantity found.
My thoughts on Panda
I recently tweeted my thoughts on the Panda update – “Google Panda Update. It’s a win for brands & companies that chose to invest wisely in their online presence – I welcome the change.” – I people that didn’t continue to build
Is this the end of web spam? No. Like life, spam finds a way. Spammers are incredibly intelligent people & I bet a heap of them have been recruited by Google. But I do personally think it is the end of low-quality link building – & I’m happy because i’m sick of seeing it work.