Preparing for the Google Panda Update UK
We’ve been hearing increasing word that the Panda / Farmer Update has hit the UK since the weekend and over the past couple of days. While opinions differ about whether this is the actual update or just some regular Google algorithm shifting, ranks do seem to have moved around a bit more frequently than normal for many people. It’s incredibly important to make sure you’re prepared for the update before it hits; you may not be affected, but why take the risk?
This update’s main focus appears to be on low quality content. Google is punishing sites that don’t provide real value to the people who visit them. These are sites such as article directories, how-to sites, and scraper sites that are piggybacking off others’ content. There is no word yet on whether the impacted sites’ links actually pass less ‘link juice’ than they did previously. Regardless, if you’re solely relying on low quality content farms for your SEO strategy, you’re going to need to come up with a new solution; they may not have implemented this yet but we can almost guarantee they will in the future.
What should you be doing to ensure the impact to your site is minimal?
1. Write your own content, and write it well. This is something we have always recommended and will continue to do so. Even if you are selling products that are sold on many other websites and in offline catalogues, it is essential to keep the content on your site fresh, interesting, and unique. Not only will this help you rank better, effectively written selling copy will push more products and entice more users to click through and purchase.
2. Monitor your backlinks. You should be conscious of any links coming from sites impacted by Panda and thus aware of the possible devaluation of those links. If you’re heavily affected by newly classified spam sites, you may wish to consider asking for the removal of those links and focus more time on high quality, genuine, natural links – even if the spammy links were natural. As we all know, not all links are created equal. This is especially important given Google’s recent crackdown on paid links and public exposure of sites known to be breaking the rules.
3. Focus more of your energy on social media. While not every site is naturally aligned with social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook, there are a variety of niche sites and opportunities; this can make a difference not only to your rankings but to your image. If your company isn’t suited to social media, ask yourself whether any aspects of it can be incorporated and focus a campaign on those. For example, a company that makes engines isn’t going to be an instant win on Facebook, but can appeal to the average customer by creating a page on choosing an eco-friendly engine or even educating the general public about how an engine works. These signals are now officially used in rankings; while you’re waiting for the Panda / Farmer update to get sorted out, consider an increased investment in social.Tweet