Google Panda Update March 2013
A March 2013 Google Panda update is on its way…..actually it’s already being rolled out.
It worries me some SEO people speak to clients about Panda proofing their website as if Panda was all done and dusted.
Panda is actually an ongoing filter. It’s been frequently updated by Google with the last update on January 22nd. Google’s waited quite a while to release a new update but Matt Cutt’s says an update is on its way. And it’s likely to be significant. The logic being previous updates were almost monthly appearing just before Christmas and further back, there was 2 in November. This will be update number 25. Yes, 25. You see Panda (and its cousin Penguin) are best viewed as a work-in-progress. After all, Google is always looking to improve the searchers experience and the web is always changing.
For anyone not yet familiar with Panda – and there can’t be many surely by now – Panda is a filter concerned with the quality of content on websites and blogs. It was first introduced in February 2011. Its sole aim is to prevent websites with poor quality content reaching the top of the search results. Sites penalised by Panda have the opportunity to make corrections so it’s possible to recover if your website is caught out. It’s also true Panda doesn’t always get it right so any sites falsely penalised may see a correction with a future update.
Why should this concern you? If you’re serious about your online business you should be producing website content in accordance with Google’s guidelines. This won’t Panda proof your site exactly but if you produce quality content, written with your visitors in mind, you’re more likely to see positive results in your rankings. Think of it as insurance.
So what does this mean exactly? Well when someone types a query into Google – usually in the form of a question – they are looking for an answer. It’s your job to make sure your pages answer specific questions better than your competitors.
Nowadays this is even more important than keyword placement as Google is better able to understand semantic search. Your content should also be written to a professional standard – something spammy sites don’t care about. If you can generate positive responses in your visitors Google will notice. You’ll have a low bounce rate and visitors will stay on your site to read more content. By contrast, if you trick visitors to arrive at your page with misleading titles backed up by spurious SEO you will have a very high bounce rate and are likely to get slapped by Google in the not too distant future.