Google Panda 4.0 – what should I change about my current SEO strategy?

Key Takeaways:

  • Places a more intelligent emphasis on content quality to provide results of greater relevance.
  • Reduces the visibility of copied or unoriginal content in organic results.
  • Operates as a platform for future changes to PageRank. A seemingly increasing weight on the relevance and quality of content; preventing the use of content just for content’s sake.

The Quest for Quality Content

Arriving in February 2011, Panda increases the quality of Google results. In essence, the algorithm attempts to mathematically define ‘good quality’ and ‘low quality’ content. It then produces SERPs that can best reflect this.

Panda 4.0 rewards original, relevant and valuable content. This in an attempt to reduce the effect that those ‘exploiting’ SEO have on organic results. Roughly 66% of people believe the top organic result to mean market-leading organisations. People are rarely venturing past page one of a query. Content from other sources or of little use to the end user’s search was commonplace amongst top organic results.

Google’s Contempt for Poor Content

Panda 4.0 appears to work as a ranking mechanism. It is attempting to return relevant results to a user’s specific search in terms of actual site content. By filtering originality in this way, Google can increase the visibility of content that offers a more accurate response to user queries. Panda 4.0 is believed to impact between 3-7.5% of English queries.

The update is an effort to increase the importance of a webpage’s content in search engine indexing. This slow shift away from backlinks is acknowledged by Matt Cutts (Google’s Head of Webspam). Cutts outlines that whilst backlinks remain important in identifying page credibility, they do not necessarily benefit to the end user. Panda 4.0 aims to create SERPs which will provide such benefit. Similarly, Cutts alludes to more ‘conversational’ searching that is more intelligent than just repeating keywords and phrases.

Panda and the future of SEO

Panda 4.0 will take a softer approach than previous iterations. It will lay essential frameworks for future amendments to Google.This may allow smaller organisations – with smaller budgets – to be competing with the giants. Specifically those who may have previously dominated Google’s organic results.

Panda updates can be met with frustration from the SEO community as algorithms and their respective weightings are not published. This can cause an organisation’s digital marketing communications to be heavily affected by updates. Some sites experience dramatic decreases in search engine visibility almost overnight.

Google, SEO forums and SEO journals offer the same advice for avoiding potential visibility damage at the hands of Panda 4.0. Publish only high-quality content to the standards present in high-quality magazines or news sites. Alongside this, using social media to build links and removing duplicate content will aid attempts to future-proof against Panda 4.0.

Atelier and Panda 4.0

At Atelier, our understanding of digital marketing best practices allow us to prevent Panda 4.0 damage to our clients. Firmly believing that prevention is better than cure, we focus on quality content marketing. We’re regularly producing interesting and innovative content that always remains relevant to our clients’ industries.

We research and manufacture website content ourselves, proficiently managing on-site blogs, off-site posting and social media relations. This allows for a fluidity and originality of content that is unrivalled by many agencies. This results in optimal search engine visibility for all of our clients. With numerous proven successes in producing content across all platforms, we operate at the very pinnacle of SEO techniques. We are fully-committed to ensuring this remains so.

Our approach to relevancy and quality is also clearly present in our other SEO practices. When link-building, we create natural links with reputable sources that safely adhere to Google’s guidelines. We actively search for sites whose content is only of high, beneficial quality. Thus, allowing for the maintenance and improvement of search engine rankings.

We are currently working with organisations to enhance their content marketing strategy and reduce the risk of Google penalties. If you would like an audit of your current SEO and content strategy, or would like to discuss a new strategy, then contact us.