How Will Panda 4.0 Affect Your Site?
Google’s new algorithm change has just gone live, and this time it’s in the form of Panda 4.0. Every three to four months Google makes major changes to the way it indexes and ranks websites. This action sends site owners and search engine optimizers into a mad dash to understand the impact of the change. By reacting quickly and efficiently, SEOs can prevent drops in ranking in search engine results pages (SERPS), understanding each change is crucial to long-term performance.
Every algorithm change is intent on helping Google yield the best search results possible to users. The better search results people receive, the more loyal they will be to Google’s search platform. So how does this change make Google search better?
What does Panda 4.0 Do?
The “Panda” updates so far have been designed to specifically target and reward sites for the development and use of quality content. Panda 4.0 is no different. This means blogs, press releases, FAQs, as well as all the page content that currently exists on your site is being judged and weighed against your competitor’s websites in terms of quality and reach.
How Do I Know If My Content is Quality?
While Google does not divulge specific details about how it rates content value in terms of quality, there are three key factors we know of, based on past updates and results, which directly impact content quality:
- USEFULNESS: If a user reads your content, will they leave with something useful? This can be answered simply by seeing if your content is capable of answering a question or questions a potential visitor would have.
- READABILITY: Is your content written for reading, and how well written is it? In years past, content writers would aim to fill each body of text with as many keywords as possible assuming that the more a word showed up, the better they would rank for it. This is not only untrue, but writing this way confuses and annoys readers and can hurt your site’s rank for certain keywords.
- CONNECTIVITY: Is your content circulating or stagnant? If your content is only sitting on one page of your site and there is no other route to or from it, you’re not doing it right. Circulate your content through social media channels and blogs, and don’t forget to drop in useful links for readers.
“I’ve lost all my top ranks! What do I do?”
It’s time to get writing. In order to stay ahead of the game, consistent and frequent content will always serve you well. This bolsters the credibility of your site by providing constant value to your users, while simultaneously creating new keyword optimization opportunities. It may also be a good time to refresh some of the legacy content that has been static on your site for a while, as there may be new opportunities for keyword placement, as well as new ways to engage your viewers.
Here is a quick checklist to keep you on top of Panda 4.0:
- First and foremost create well written content that provides value to your users
- Optimize that content for the keywords you would like to rank for (Don’t forget about long tail)
- Use strong anchor text for links inside your content
- Employ an effective link building strategy through social posts, guest blogs, etc.