Google Panda 2.2 Is Live
Just a quick update. A lot of websites got nailed with the last Google Panda algorithm update. The basic purpose of the panda update was to put content scraping sites into retirement. Panda is a little different than a normal algorithmic update in that it’s more like a filter they run periodically to fix ranking issues with sites deemed less than valuable. The second panda iteration which was rolled out a couple months ago included more code analysis and usability importance. It was fairly effective from what we’ve seen. Fast forward a few months…
This newest update, being dubbed “Panda 2.2” is likely to continue Google’s quest of identifying good quality content, original authors and we suspect a continued focus on incorporating social [media] elements.
A few things to embrace for effective optimization if the changes fall in line with what we expect:
- No duplicate content. Do not repost articles from other sites as your own. And don’t repeat the same content across your site all over the place. You’ll be ok with a footer line or something simple, but if you are duplicating a lot of the content on your site, this will seem less valuable to Google and will penalize you.
- Think about using some of the new markup for authors that Google seems to be pushing. It will help identify and mark content as original source.
- If you are a local business, use the location markup – this is a definite.
- Continue to incorporate a full social presence into your online marketing efforts. Cross-link your Twitter, Facebook, blog and website(s). Make sure to allow commenting and social participation with your website.
- Utilize good solid content, with meaning for your audience. Including images to the extent they are helpful (Google likes a few, but not a ton) and make sure to appropriately tag images with alt tags.
- Keep you site code clean. We’ve been helping a ton of clients with this problem lately. If you site loads slowly and you have considerable mark-up and validation errors, it’s going to hurt your rankings.
- Utilize smart and natural optimization. We can’t stress this enough. You need to optimize for sure, and do it well. But it needs to be “value-add” optimization rather than “value-suck” optimization that makes your content harder to read and less natural. Remember the goal is to share content and have it understood by humans, not robots.
- Don’t be tempted to over-optimize. This has been the case since 2002/2003 and it still holds true today. When in doubt, opt for less. Or call us and ask.
- Inbound links from topically relevant sites will continue to be as important as ever. But don’t think about buying links from “spammy” link farms. This will crush your optimization.
- No duplicate content.
If you’ve been hit hard by Panda, or have any thoughts or comments, feel free to chime in below.