Panda 4.1: Will Your Site Be Affected?
Just when you thought it was safe to…uh…have a website, Google releases a fresh new algorithm to shake up the SEO world. Yes, folks, Panda 4.1 is here and it’s on a mission to destroy thin content like a juicy stalk of bamboo.
What Panda 4.1 Will Penalize
Should you be worried about your website getting penalized by Panda 4.1? Maybe. This new algorithm is on the lookout for thin or scraped content—content that was copied from other sites or otherwise provides little or no value to the user. So if you sell vacuum cleaners, and all the content on your site was just copied and pasted from vacuum manufacturers’ websites (or worse: from other vacuum dealers), that’s scraped content. Why isn’t that valuable to the user? It’s not giving them new info. It’s not informing them about your business.
How Does Google’s Algorithm Know if Your Content is Thin?
Google doesn’t tell anyone exactly how their algorithm updates work, but they did say that they have “discovered a few more signals” to help Panda 4.1 more precisely determine content quality. And they insist that this will help small- and medium-sized sites rank better. So hopefully, this update will encourage small businesses to really beef up the content on their sites to create higher quality experiences for their visitors.
Avoid a Panda Penalty with Optimized Content
If you’ve been penalized in the past by a Google algorithm update and you made changes to move your site in the right direction, Panda 4.1 may be a great thing for you. If you haven’t been penalized as of yet, you may be affected.
Here are some easy ways to “thicken” your content.
- As we’ve mentioned before, “high-quality, trusted websites…demonstrate to visitors that there’s a real person behind all those pixels.” That means using original content specific to your products and services, posting staff photos and bios, and making sure your service area is noted prominently.
- Use professionally written content. If that’s not possible for you, make sure your copy is free of grammatical errors.
- Use your website to answer the questions your customers ask most. Demonstrate how your service or product will solve their most pressing problems.
Panda-Proof Your Website
I was going to start this paragraph by saying that there have been more Google Panda updates than there are actual panda bears in the world. But then I Googled that information and discovered that my assumption was way off— according to the World Wildlife Federation there are approximately 1,600 panda bears in the wild right now! Which is something to smile about, right? So while I’m no authority on pandas, I can tell you that if you discover a dive in your rankings in the next couple weeks, keep smiling and use the tips above to get Panda 4.1 to like you better. And if you need a penalty removed, contact your favorite SEO experts.
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