Earlier today Search Engine Land released a great infographic on the Panda Update and its effects one year later:
This got me thinking about how bloggers were effected by the Panda Updates (they could have picked a better name, the Google Panda isn’t nearly as nice as its fuzzy counterpart) and how they can best avoid being slapped by the update moving forward (or even correct some of the issues that may have been caused by Panda).
The biggest effect of Panda hit sites with light or crappy content, as well it should have, and a lot of site owners quickly realized that spinning articles they wrote for other websites – or worse, completely stealing another websites content and changing it slightly (if you did/do this you are a bastard!) – simply didn’t have the effect it did previously.
So…it’s been a year and you’re still feeling the shock from the Panda Slap? You are planning on starting a blog and want to avoid getting on Google’s radar for poor content? Here’s a few things bloggers can do to not only avoid the big, bad Panda, but improve their website in the process:
- Create Quality Content Readers Will Enjoy & Share. One of the most important things we have learned from the Panda updates is that Google cares a LOT about the quality of the content you put on your website. Don’t just put up content for the sake of content or to get high rankings; put up content because you care about your readers and want to provide them with the best information possible.
- Edit or remove weak content from your blog. If you notice that some of your pages aren’t getting indexed by Google or are not getting ranked well at all it may be due to the content being considered light or poor in the eyes of Google. unfortunately, with the Panda updates having a bunch of poor content pages can have negative effects for the entire website. if you are finding pages on your site are not getting indexed do your blog a favor and take the time to improve them and make them more unique or remove them completely.
- Keep Important Content “Above the Fold”. “Above the fold” is a phrase that means above the place where content can no longer be seen without scrolling down. It comes from the newspaper era where newspapers would place the most important and enticing information where people could see it without working too hard. Your blog should be no different. Use nice, relevant images and videos towards the top of the content page to keep people from leaving right away (aka bouncing).
- Remember that Content is More than Words on a Page. Many people get this part confused. Do you post videos on your website? Do you use images to make your blog posts more enticing? All these things are considered content by the search engines (Google) and need to be unique and optimized. And if you are using someone else’s content on your site make sure it is properly cited (like the above infographic from Search Engine Land) and points back to the original source.
- Take it Easy with the Ads on your Blog. I understand. We all want to monetize our websites in one way or another. And truth is, placing affiliate ads or adSense on our blogs is still a great way to make a little extra scratch. Unfortunately, that silly Panda does not like ads as much as we may and feel that it draws attention away from what is important on the page…the content. This does not mean you should not use ads at all, just limit the amount of adverts you place on your site to only the ones that perform the best for you and are highly relevant to your content.
But what about links? Aren’t they important? Of course they are. And if you follow this advice and create the kind of content people want to read and share the links will come naturally…just the way Google wants it to.
Blogging should be fun. I have never understood the “blogging for money” thing in the first place. Even if you want to make money from blogging, write what interests you and the money will likely follow. And if you take these things to heart while writing your blog you should never have an issue with the Panda or any other Google updates in the future.