If you are well versed in the SEO world then you likely already know about the Panda 4.0 release this last week. Most people, however, have probably never even heard of Panda, let alone know that this is the fourth iteration.
When it comes to search engine rankings, Google remains king. Even against other big name companies like Microsoft and Yahoo, Google still remains the largest focus of SEO. Because it is the most used, it is essential that you optimize your site for Google. This means it is important to understand how Google ranks sites, and what criteria they use for promoting them.
In early 2011, in an effort to promote good quality posts at the top of their search results, Google released a series of filters designed to punish websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Google Panda was one of these filters released. The point of Panda is to sift out sites that attempt to manipulate search engines to get a higher post, and promote the sites that regularly post high-quality content.
What does this mean for you?
For most website owners, it means very little. If you have been following good White-Hat SEO procedures, then it is likely that you won’t even notice its implementation. However, it is possible that you have been following good procedures and still get punished. SEO practices change frequently. What was once a good practice just a few years ago might by punishable now. Just this last week, eBay lost 33% of its organic traffic due to reasons very similar to this.
What can you do to make sure you don’t get punished?
Focus on the users. Make sure the content you are producing is actually good content. Avoid posting blogs or other posts containing rehashed information. Post content that users would actually want to read and engage in. Don’t post simply to increase your SEO results.