Google updates are always met with a bit of fear and trepidation by web marketers. Every new tweak brings sweeping changes in the search engine results, which can mean less traffic, leads and sales. It takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for the full effects of a Google update to make an impact – so the shockwaves from the recent Google Panda update are still being felt.
Google’s Panda algorithm change was one of 500 planned for this year, so the dust hasn’t settled yet. But in the wake of the changes one thing is clear – quality seo content is more important than ever, and high quality social content is going to be critical to the success of your website now and into the future.
What did Google Panda Change?
The Panda update emphasized the quality of search results that you find in Google searches. I’m sure you’ve felt the frustration of doing research online only to be assaulted by low quality articles from eHow or Associated Content. It’s downright annoying – and bad for the web. The Internet is essentially an information network – and if low quality sources are showing up before higher quality results, there’s something wrong.
Google’s Panda update aims to change that and put the emphasis back on quality. Although Google has been delivering iffy results for some terms for many years now, recent outside pressures like the exposure of the “content for clicks” model of business (ie: Demand Media) and the growing influence of Facebook and other social media channels have finally prompted Google to take action.
What does this mean for Quality Social Content?
In theory, this means that quality information that people can actually use will hold more weight and importance in search engine rankings. And while this is a good thing for SEO copywriters, it’s a great thing for your business. And here’s why:
Quality content gets shared.
When SEO content is done right, it’s interesting, compelling and shareable. And when your content is shareable, it can reach a larger audience. Now with Google’s search engine results favoring quality SEO content, you get a double benefit by focusing on quality rather than quantity.
We’re now reaching a point in web marketing where there’s a high noise to signal ratio. It’s not enough to publish content. Publishing anything and everything possible with a backlink to your website is part of what created junk search engine results to begin with. The days of spinning an article and spamming 1000 article directories to get backlinks are (hopefully) gone forever.
Thanks to Google Panda – it’s time for quality social content to rise. It’s time to give your customers exactly what they are looking for: helpful, original information that speaks to their needs – and contributes something to the conversation.
Here are some guidelines direct from Google. Review these questions and reflect on your own site and web marketing efforts:
- Would you trust the information presented in this article?
- Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
- How much quality control is done on content?
- Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
- Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
- Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
If you’re having trouble answering yes to these questions, it’s time to rethink your content marketing strategy. Giving your audience interesting, accurate and shareable information is not only important for building trust – but it’s now essential to your Google search engine rankings.
How about you? Were your search rankings hurt or helped by Google Panda? What is your post-Panda strategy?