Google has given news of its latest Panda refresh for 2013.
The news comes from Google’s official Twitter account @Google, announcing the update will have an impact on 1.2% for all English search queries. Whilst this may not sound to be much in total, web masters should treat this update as a warning to start refining their content strategy if they haven’t done so.
For those that don’t know, Google’s Panda was created with the aim of helping people to find highly relevant, quality websites by first de-ranking low quality sites. Panda was first introduced in February 2011. The update caused massive shock waves across the web, impacting a total of 11.8% of all search results. The update was followed up with additional algorithm refreshes throughout the next couple of months – further extending its damage reach.
So what can you do to defend yourselves against such a catastrophic update? The answer is simple, create high quality content with the purpose of providing worth to your visitors. This concept applied in 2011 when Panda was first launched, and continues to apply up till today.
Back in 2011, Google’s Amit Singhal provided a general check-list of exactly what to ask yourself when working to build high quality websites. The list comprises of the following questions:
- Would you trust the information presented on this website?
- 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?
Let me know what are your thoughts on the list of questions and how Google’s recent Panda update has affected you.