Google Panda Update
Last month Google made announced
a major update in their search algorithms which intended to take out websites with huge amount of low quality or shallow content, also known as content farms. As per Google, the change affected about 12% of the search results. This comes close on heels of another update that was intended to target scraper sites, i.e. websites with do not have original content but copy content from other websites.
Google has been getting a lot of bad press due to existence of low quality content websites in top search results for many queries. These websites known as Content Farms are the websites which mass produced the content specifically targeted to popular search queries. These articles are not written by experts but usually marginally paid content writers (some are students) and do not provide anything of consequence and full of ads. Most of the content is written to rank well for the search queries and the main aim is to monetize on display ads. These included websites providing “how to” articles such as ehow.com, article directories, low quality news aggregators such as HuffingtonPost, self proclaimed human powered search engines such as Mahalo and websites which copy content from other websites. Many of such websites were owned by Demand Media.
After these changes were implemented, many content farms were dropped from the rankings. Data on some top losers can be found at Sistrix
. Many websites such as Ezinearticles, Hubpages, Mahalo etc. have lost rankings. While some other sites such as Ehow.com were spared. In fact, the traffic in these websites increased as a consequence. Tecnorati is also believed have lost traffic due to copied content in form of feeds. Overall, Google torched many websites which were designated as content farms but left many others. Many in SEO industry believe that this may be due to role of usage data or user behavior which comes into play. Google is believed to collect this data from Analytics, Chrome and Toolbar. Some experts feel that websites which remained unhurt by the update were due to their two main reasons: better design and navigation, and due to the huge public relations and popularity they enjoy. Some skeptics even say that they were spared due to the advertising money they bring in.
Even though it was content farms and scraper websites that were affected, here at RedAlkemi, we give emphasis on writing informative and unique content for the websites we are optimizing. We also give priority to improving the overall design and usability of the website so as to provide better user experience and improve the conversion rate. Also, this update does not mean that syndicating content on some of these websites will lead to penalization of your website as many people fear; even though the value links have diminished somewhat.