Google has been updating its algorithm frequently in the last 2 months to reduce SPAM. Google updated its algorithm recently and called it “Panda”. The panda update is named after a Google engineer which ended up making a huge wave in the industry as authority web sites were hit in the bargain and classified as “low quality sites

I’ve come to the conclusion that too much dependency on Google is a bad thing as things can literally change overnight! Most of our SEO strategies are focused around gaining Organic traffic from search engines – I think it’s better to start focusing on building alternate sources of traffic as well!

Anyways, coming back – with this Algorithm update “Panda”, Google has devalued “low quality” sites which look like “content farms”

What is a low quality website?

Google is still having a tough time defining what low quality websites are? Some SEO experts are interpreting this to mean sites overloaded with AdSense and others advertisements could be defined as low quality websites.

What is a content farm?

As per Wikipedia, “the term content farm is used to describe a company that employs large numbers of often freelance writers to generate large amounts of textual content which is specifically designed to satisfy algorithms for maximal retrieval by automated search engines. Their main goal is to generate advertising revenue through attracting reader page views”

I would presume here, that Google’s target would mostly be auto blogs and unmoderated article directories that have a huge load of content without any quality of course. The bad news is that in the process, reputed websites like labnol.org, Ezine Article Directory (moderated) etc have been hit hard and have seen a huge dip in traffic.

Posting on Hacker News, Cutts wrote:

“The net effect is that searchers are more likely to see the sites that wrote the original content. An example would be that stackoverflow.com will tend to rank higher than sites that just reuse stackoverflow.com’s content. Note that the algorithmic change isn’t specific to stackoverflow.com though.”

On his blog, Matt Cutts wrote:

“This was a pretty targeted launch: slightly over 2% of queries change in some way, but less than half a percent of search results change enough that someone might really notice. The net effect is that searchers are more likely to see the sites that wrote the original content rather than a site that scraped or copied the original site’s content.”

What can we do?

  • Be careful where you attain your backlinks, as Google has penalized big brands like JCPenney, Forbes and Overstock for “shady” linking practices.
  • Stay away from building backlinks from websites that have an awful lot of advertisements, lack quality content and have no comment moderation when it comes to blogs (These are the blogs which will be most spammed as they do not moderate their comments)
  • Do not link out to bad neighborhoods

What should we do?

Of course, Write, Write & Write! Focus on building quality & original content on your blogs. When you write quality & original content, you attract natural organic links which helps you rank better in SERP’s.

Wasn’t it always said that Content is King? Google just proved it.

Do let us know your thoughts on the recent Google Panda Algorithm update? Please let us know if this update has affected you in any way (Good or Bad). Also do you plan to change your link building strategies? Speak Your Mind and you will do us a favor