Sorry, I just couldn't' resist the play on words. Panda is the name that has been given to Google's release of changes to its algorithms to measure relevant searches last year, with updates still ongoing. Below is a graphic that explains the timeline. (Thanks to Search Engine Land for allowing me to share it!)
Sites that farm content or reproduce content that can be found on other sites on the web are the target of this change. Many sites took a hit earlier this year and had to scramble to improve their content or find other methods like subdomains to fight back after impact. Examples are Ask.com, EHow.com and HubPages.com. The main take away from this, and what I have been stressing to my own clients this year, is that quality, original-to-you content is so important.
I thought you might like to know what Google is looking for so you can evaluate your own website's content up against THE PANDA BEAR!
This is that soft and cuddly animal talking now...
"Our site quality algorithms are aimed at helping people find "high-quality" sites by reducing the rankings of low-quality content. The recent "Panda" change tackles the difficult task of algorithmically assessing website quality. Taking a step back, we wanted to explain some of the ideas and research that drive the development of our algorithms.
Below are some questions that one could use to assess the "quality" of a page or an article. These are the kinds of questions we ask ourselves as we write algorithms that attempt to assess site quality. Think of it as our take at encoding what we think our users want.
Of course, we aren't disclosing the actual ranking signals used in our algorithms because we don't want folks to game our search results; but if you want to step into Google's mindset, the questions below provide some guidance on how we've been looking at the issue:
- Would you trust the information presented in this article?
- Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
- Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
- Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
- Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
- Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
- Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
- Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
- How much quality control is done on content?
- Does the article describe both sides of a story?
- Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
- Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
- Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
- For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
- Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
- Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
- Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
- Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
- Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
- Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
- Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
- Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
- Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
Writing an algorithm to assess page or site quality is a much harder task, but we hope the questions above give some insight into how we try to write algorithms that distinguish higher-quality sites from lower-quality sites."I call it soft and cuddly because I am for this! I want to know the authority of the author and where the content I am reading came from, otherwise I don't feel like I can trust it. And the same can be said for your own company's content. If someone else wrote if for you and the same exact information can be found on your competitor's website, what will compel your potential customers to choose you over them?
As always if you would like help with your search engine ranking and need an affordable solution MC Design & Services, LLC is here to help! Contact Us