Changes to Google and their Algorithm - Panda
Before you get too excited, the Panda I’m referring to isn’t cute and cuddly with a low libido, it’s actually far more interesting than that! So brace yourselves for some important news about how your website could be affected by changes to Google’s newly released version of the Panda algorithm.
I had you at hello, didn’t I? So now you’re transfixed and hanging off my every word….here’s the GEN:
Google’s Matt Cutts announced on Twitter that they have released version 4.0 of the Google Panda algorithm. ‘So what?’ I hear you ask. Well, the changes to Google Panda algorithm is designed to prevent websites with poor quality content (aka repetitive keywords, hidden pages and general crimes against copywriting) from working their way into Google’s top search results.
My sudden interest in this furry algorithmic side-kick (I’m picturing Kung Fu Panda with an iPad) is fuelled by a pet hate for thinly veiled search engine optimised web copy.
Naughty examples include:
- Copy and pasting content from page to page – simply changing the location doesn’t cut it I’m afraid.
- Repetitive use of keywords – enough already!
- Using page content for blog posts – surely there must be more to talk about? Lazy bones.
It’s frustrating to see small businesses lured by promises made by SEO experts of reaching the giddy heights of Google. Angling website copy to improve rankings is commonplace, but when it’s done with such little finesse it’s simply not user-friendly and just downright lazy. Repetitive, unengaging and poorly written copy (that’s without mentioning typos and basic grammatical errors *shudder), all in the name of reaching page 1 on Google.
A good website copywriter will create content with your audience, key messages and brand values in mind. They’ll care about Google too, but keywords will be seamlessly integrated into to your site copy so you don’t bore potential customers or piss off the Panda.
Hopefully, with these new changes, poor web copy, hidden pages and overused keywords will be penalised. They should be – it is cheating after all.
For small businesses – some advice.
SEO IS important but don’t compromise the quality of your content by cutting corners. Work with an integrated marketing specialist that can offer design, SEO and copywriting under one roof. You’ll have the benefit of working with professionals who know what they’re talking about and use data to get results. They’ll also work together to ensure all your objectives are met and integrated as seamlessly as possible.
There’s nothing worse than someone clicking on your website only to click off after reading the opening paragraph. First impressions count; content is king.
And remember, the Panda is watching.