Yesterday, Google announced that a new Panda data refresh affecting 1.2% of English queries. This is the 24th refresh of the Google Panda update, and for those of you who don’t know what Panda is, let me give you some brief information on the Panda update.
What the Panda?
Google Panda is a change to the search engine’s ranking algorithm. The initial change took place in February 2011. This Panda update is aimed to give more credit to high quality sites by increasing their rank in the search engine and lower the rank of sites that have low quality or sites with thin content. Google places a huge amount of focus on (and rightfully so) making the user experience a positive one.
So What Can You Do?
As a website owner or online marketer, there are 23 things Google says you should ask yourself when looking at or improving your site to benefit search rankings. These questions will help you analyze your site better and help you find opportunities for improvement.
These 23 questions are:
- 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 shallow in nature?
- Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
- Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
- Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
- Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
- Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
- Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
- How much quality control is done on content?
- Does the article describe both sides of a story?
- Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
- Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
- Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
- For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
- Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
- 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?
- Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
- Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
- Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
- Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
- Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
There will be many more Google Panda updates in 2013. It will be interesting to see HOW these updates will affect websites.