If you have a business website, then you will have certainly encountered Google’s Panda and Penguin updates. Many SEO experts claim these dramatic updates have transformed the basic principles of a successful SEO strategy. Within this article, we will be assessing the impact of these updates on the practice of article marketing and asking the questions: What do these changes really mean for article marketing? And what can we do?
Google Panda and Penguin: The Basics
Google’s most recent updates to their ranking algorithm are called Panda and Penguin. While they may have cute and cuddly names, their impact within the World Wide Web has been colossal. The primary purpose of these updates is to improve the relevance of search results and create a better experience for end-users. Essentially, Google determined that its customers preferred sites with high-quality content. As a result, they wanted to rewards sites that adhere to certain criteria, whilst punishing those that do not. Therefore high quality sites are promoted and achieve a higher ranking, whilst low quality sites or “thin sites” are demoted.
Google created the Panda algorithm, which looks at pages of a website to determine its quality. The significant feature of Google Panda is that it is a site wide penalty, so if a number of pages on your website are deemed low-quality, your entire site is down-ranked. Google Penguin looks at off-site factors such as the content you create to generate backlinks to your site. The Penguin update, unlike Panda is not a site wide penalty.
How do the Updates Affect Article Marketing
There are two key ways in which article marketing has been affected by the Panda and Penguin updates:
Duplicate content is also a focus for the Panda update. Duplicate content presents a quandary for Google, which will show only one version in search engine results.
According to Moz - “To provide the best search experience, search engines will rarely show multiple, duplicate pieces of content and thus, are forced to choose which version is most likely to be the original (or best)… When duplicate content is present, site owners suffer rankings and traffic losses and search engines provide less relevant results.”
Link relevancy has become a focus for the new updates too. The update penalises sites with many backlinks from unrelated sources, such as articles published in irrelevant categories or published on websites in a completely different niche. The punishment by Google for sites not adhering to its strict criteria is a dramatic fall in search engine rankings and a possible suspension of the site’s Google AdSense account. These punishments have a huge impact on a websites organic traffic levels and could spell disaster for an online business.
If you are an article marketer who manually submits unique, high quality articles to reputable directories, then you should have nothing to fear from the updates. Only those who use controversial practices to boost their rankings are at risk.
How to Avoid Penalties
If you are still concerned about the possibility of being penalised by Google, there are several practices you can follow:
“If you’re applying grey hat or black hat tactics that “chase the algorithm” then you’re at risk of changes such as these destroying your rankings… Step back, focus on creating some real value and stop building thousands of irrelevant links. Focus on adding value to your customer and you won’t have to worry about these changes or any future ones.” ~ Social Media Today
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