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Thursday, 2 February 2012

How will Google’s Panda update affect your SEO?

Google has recently updated their search engine algorithm with the latest Panda update. They have applied the changes in the US and it has created controversies and havoc in the internet industry. Now the question is, how will this change affect your site’s SEO once it is released all over the world?

A big question mark
I for one am excited and at the same time a bit anxious on how it will affect some of my blogs. There have been some civilian casualties in the US such as Cult of Mac (which is a blog that discusses about Mac) and other seemingly innocent websites that do not practice content farming at all.

The question we need to ask ourselves is ‘if there have indeed been any civilian casualties, what are the chances that I might be one of them when the change is implemented in my country?’ The bigger question you need to ask yourself is, ‘how does this change affect my site’s SEO?’
The purpose of the Panda

The change is implemented in order to eliminate ‘low quality’ content, or in other words, spammy content trying to rank in the search engines. You have to understand that Google is only trying its best in eliminating results that are not relevant or not useful because its users have requested it.

The Panda update has affected sites like Mahalo, Ezine articles, Wisegeek and a lot of other websites. I was personally surprised that Ezine articles was affected because they do look over and edit their articles (they even reject some) – although perhaps quite loosely. Now they said that they’ll be more strict with the articles they are accepting.

Some websites that were affected are: (taken from wisestartupblog.com)



How does this affect your SEO?
Publishing content just for the heck of traffic is not a good idea. This is the main reason why Google made the update – because a lot of sites take a lot of content just for them to attract more visitors from the search engines to go to their site and give some impressions and clicks to the ads.

They don’t really care about the quality of the content as much as the traffic they are getting from it. We have to always keep in mind that people want real, useful, quality content – and Google is just trying its best to deliver us that which we desire. True, there may have been some unforseen and perhaps unjust casualties, but that’s why it’s called a ‘change’ I’m sure Google will try to patch things up in due time.

You should be more mindful of the things that you publish. Make sure it’s unique, original and helpful to people. Don’t make articles just to suck-up to search engines as some people do. If you have local content farming websites, try to look at which keywords you could grab from them when the Panda update is implemented in your country. Perhaps you can be the one to rank first for that keyword phrase that you want since they’re getting kicked off the picture.

In the end, SEO is a zero-sum game. If the content farms are getting kicked off the SERPs, then the content producers get to rank higher. Take this opportunity to do so.

Tips for Keeps: Start looking out for local content farms in your country. Look at some of the articles they are ranking for in your niche, create content that will allow you to rank for the same keyword phrase and wait for the Panda update to come around.

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