Google “Panda” Algorithm Update


Google’s recent algorithm update aimed at improving the quality of search results has captured a great deal of attention – both positive and negative. The general consensus seems to be that the results are in fact better now, but still not perfect.

Perfection will likely never be achieved, but there are still some glaring criticisms out there about Google’s most recent attempt.

What we know Google is looking at with the Panda update:

  • User comfort level in the trust area
  • Is it considered authoritative
  • Is the content quality good enough for print?
  • Are there too many ads?
  • We know Google has its definition of what could be considered low quality
  • Google looks at feedback, at least to some extent

How to Determine a Valuable Backlink Opportunity

How can you determine whether a site you’re trying to gain a link from is valuable?

Here are some “warning” signs as to what Google may have or eventually deem as a low-quality site.

  • Lots of ads. If the site is covered with five blocks of AdSense, Konterra text links, or other advertising chunks, you might want to steer away from them.
  • Lack of quality content. If you can get your article approved immediately, chances are this isn’t the right article network for your needs. If the article network is approving spun or poorly written content, it will be hard for the algorithm to see your “diamond in the rough.” Of course, when a site like Suite101.com, which has one hell of an editorial process, gets dinged, then extreme moderation may not necessarily be a sign of a safe site either (in their case, ads were the more likely issue).
  • Lots of content, low traffic. A blog with a Google PageRank of 6 probably looks like a great place to spam a comment. But if that blog doesn’t have good authority in terms of traffic and social sharing, then it may be put on the list of sites to be de-valued in the future. PageRank didn’t save some of the sites in the Panda update, considering there are several sites with PageRank 7 and above (including a PR 9).
  • Lack of moderation. Kind of goes with the above, except in this case I mean blog comments and directories. If you see a ton of spammy links on a page, you don’t want yours to go next to it. Unless you consider it a spammy link, and then more power to you to join the rest of them.

What Should You Be Doing

Content, of course! Nine in 10 organizations use blogs, whitepapers, webinars, infographics, and other high quality content to leverage for link building and to attract natural, organic links.

Not only can use your content to build links, but you can use it to build leads as well by proving the business knows their stuff when it comes to their industry.

You can read the fullWired Q&A here.

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