Why Google’s Latest Panda Update Matters to Content Marketers

Why Google's Latest Panda Update Matters to Content MarketersHow to Panda-proof your content and protect your website’s search rank

The latest refresh of Google’s Panda algorithm has begun, and some marketers will soon be paying the penalty for their copied content. Google first created the Panda algorithm in 2011 to address the issue of content quality, concerned that some websites with low quality content were ranking higher than other sites that featured higher quality content that provided a better answer to search queries.  Panda penalizes websites that have poor quality content, dropping their search ranking so the best content can occupy the coveted top positions on search engine results pages (SERPs). If you’re just hearing about Panda for the first time, you may be struggling to understand all the ramifications of this algorithm update. To clear up any confusion, we’ve put together this short guide to explain why Google’s latest Panda refresh matters to content marketers – we’ve even included helpful tips on how to Panda-proof your website to help ensure your content marketing strategies don’t take a hit. Good luck and good marketing!

When will the latest Panda refresh take effect?
Implementation of Panda 4.2 began on July 18, and the rollout is expected to continue for several months. This is the slowest rollout of a Panda update so far. With the rollout taking place so gradually, it may be difficult to judge whether a particular website has been hit with a Panda penalty.

How many searches will be affected by the Panda 4.2 refresh?
Google’s Gary Illyes recently tweeted that this latest Panda update will affect 2-3% of search queries. If that sounds like a miniscule amount, consider the number of queries that translates to. ComScore recently reported that there were 18.4 billion unique searches from desktops in April, which means that more than 36 million searches will be affected by Panda 4.2.

How long will penalized sites be affected?
It’s hard to set an exact date, but industry experts are estimating a wait of as much as 10 months to a year before penalized websites will be reassessed. It took ten long months from the time the Panda 4.1 update was introduced to rollout this Panda update, and all the websites that were penalized by that rollout were laboring under the penalty until now.

What are the marketing practices that Panda 4.2 will be targeting?
Google introduced the Panda algorithm to remedy certain marketing practices that can compromise the quality of website content. The top content marketing practices that Panda will address include:

  1. Overly promotional, shallow content – Content that is essentially an advertisement instead of providing genuine value to readers
  2. Purchased low quality content – Trying to bulk up content marketing strategies through the use of purchased content, which is usually thin, features grammar and spelling errors, and is duplicated on many sites throughout the web (different from curated content where you share great content featured on reputable websites)
  3. Copied Content – Republishing content from other sites and passing it off as original material
  4. Duplicate pages to load keywords – Trying to game SERP ranks by featuring multiple pages that are essentially the same in order to target various keyword variations
  5. High ad ratios – Webpages that predominantly feature ads rather than actual content

How can I tell if my website has been hit with a Panda penalty?
If your website suddenly experiences a severe drop in search ranking over the next few months, check your SEO strategies to make sure your keywords and other optimization strategies are in order. If everything checks out, take a look at your content.  If your content marketing strategies produce fresh, original content not found on other websites, a Panda penalty is probably not the problem.  If you have been implementing a content marketing strategy for some time, be sure to take a close look at your past content. You may have triggered a Panda penalty by repeating your old content without even realizing it.

How can I Panda-proof my website content?
Google’s Panda algorithm was designed to keep websites with low-quality content from appearing in top ranked positions on searches, so the best way to Panda-proof your website is by creating original, high quality content that provides useful information to your readers. If you are afraid your website will be hit by Panda, Blue Interactive Agency can perform a comprehensive content and website review. We’ll examine your content marketing strategies to assess the quality of your content, check your website and identify any red flags that will earn you a Panda penalty.

To help ensure your website doesn’t take a hit, the marketers at Blue Interactive Agency can provide you with expert SEO content creation services to quickly replace shallow content. As a leading website content design firm, we have the skilled staff and experience to implement an ongoing content marketing strategy for your company that includes a bi-weekly blog, social marketing strategies, and more to generate quality links and earn the high search rank position your website deserves.

Contact us at Blue Interactive Agency today at 954-779-2801 for more complete content marketing services to ensure your company’s success!