Panda, panda, panda. I am sooo sick of all the bloggers writing about Panda. Stupid bloggers.
Oh. Wait a minute&
Truth is, Panda is a huge, huge sea change in the way Google ranks content. And no one seems to be really thinking about it, except maybe Michael Martinez, who wrote a great analytical piece on the subject.
My job, as always, is to fill in the gaps with utter insanity. So, here are 10 things you didnt know about Panda:
- Its not about pages. Googles always been about pages, not sites. But the Panda algorithm isnt just ranking pages. It looks to me like Panda is about entire sites. Otherwise, why would a bunch of low-quality pages on a site hurt rankings for the high-quality pages, too?
- The Panda algorithm was created just to screw you out of your hard-earned rankings. When I come out and say it, it sounds stupid, right? Thats because it is. Panda isnt part of some horrific conspiracy. Its part of a profit-seeking corporations efforts to turn out a better product, and make more profit. Period.
- Nor more free lunch. Or paid lunch, for that matter. You want to buy 999 links for $20 each? Want to hire 200 people to write godawful content for $2/article? Go for it. But its not going to help. It may even hurt. This update is all about quality, not quantity.
- Panda is not perfect. So yeah, youre going to see a few places where someones site is being outranked by a syndicated or scraped version of their content. But not many. Chances are, if your organic traffic went into the toilet recently, youve got a lot of low-quality stuff on your site.
- Its looking at social. Twitter presence, Facebook likes and possibly other factors are now direct influencers. Social medias always been a great way to build 2nd and 3rd-hand links. With Panda, though, your social media profile can impact your site. For better or worse. I recommend turning off that Twitter AutoFollow Blender Magic script you bought from some guy for $99.
- Most SEOs have very little clue about Panda. Theyre still in the Denial phase. Some have moved on to Anger, and are squawking about their rankings. Some of my favorites: The domain name is now given more priority as a keyword, .com sites are getting better rankings in America, and of course Substitute a few keywords and youll be fine.
- Fast sites will flourish. Fast means average page loads in 5 seconds or less.
- Panda likes Caffeine. The Caffeine update, in late 2009, helped Google build towards the Panda update. Pure trivia, I know. This is what happens when you ask a History major to write a blog post.
- Panda is an editorial update. Google is using Panda to refine their opinion of whats good versus bad content.
- Google has told the public more about how to do well under Panda than it has with any other algorithm update. Read this Wired article, and this piece on Search Engine Land. Do your research.
The short version? Googles recent update basically tells the world We know what good and bad sites are, and were going to show you.
Whether you agree with their opinion or not, I strongly suggest you try to get into the good column.