10 Methods You Can Use to Beat the Panda And Penguin In Your Content Strategy
Change is always occurring in the world of Google. In the last several months Google has rolled out more updates to its Panda and Penguin algorithm and although these changes were not as bad as everyone expected, some people still suffered.
It’s important to stay on top of any Panda and Penguin updates and make sure you don’t violate any of Google’s rules because Google is notorious for dishing out some harsh penalties. With an updated content strategy you will be able to avoid any penalties and repel any Panda or Penguin updates that would otherwise cause trouble for you.
Panda Wants Quality Content
Panda pushes for high quality content. This is because in the past there were many sites that contained a lot of content that wasn’t high quality. Think of things like content farms, they contained large volumes of content with many articles that were full of stuffed keywords. This was the kind of low quality content that Panda took aim at.
Although content farms no longer have the influence they once had there is still plenty of poor quality content out there. The poor quality content is what Panda is looking for.
Google Update 4.1
The latest Panda update is called Panda 4.1. The update, whilst not as significant as the very first Panda update, still has an impact on search results.
This update of Panda is still targeting poor quality content but it’s also helping to promote small and medium sized websites. Ultimately, this is good for small businesses that want to rank higher in the search engines, and it’s an encouragement for them to focus on publishing high quality content.
Ultimately, time will tell whether this update benefits small businesses or not.
What Is Low Quality Content?
If you want to stay on the good side of Panda then it’s important to know what they are looking for when it comes to low quality content. The following is what Panda looks for when determining if something constitutes low quality content or not:
Negative user experience. Google now focuses on positive user experience. So if your content fails to provide a positive user experience in terms of engagement and information then it may come under Panda’s radar.
Thin content. Google views long content as being more likely to provide a positive user experience. So if content is thin then it’s deemed to be less likely to generate traffic, encourage audiences to stay, and generate social media shares. So focus on producing long, high quality content just to be safe.
Duplicate content. Duplicate content has been a no-no for some time now and this remains the case with Panda 4.1.
Keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing has been a no-no for a long time now but it still happens sometimes. Keyword stuffing is a guaranteed way to be penalised by any Panda updates.
Outdated content. Content that sits stale, generates no traffic, and is not used as a source of reference.
Penguin’s Role In Low Quality Content
Penguin has a slightly different role in the fight against low quality content. Penguin is more geared towards eliminating spam - especially spam in the form of spammy links.
Spammy links are things that Penguin targets especially link farms and unnatural links. The key to being safe here is to simply focus on providing value so that your content generates natural backlinks because your content is high quality.
It’s when you start trying to create a linking strategy that isn’t natural that Penguin will start to take notice of you.
10 Ways To Foolproof Yourself Against Panda
The easiest way to be on the safe side of Google is to focus on producing high quality content. But how do you go about doing that? Follow the ten tips below and you’ll be on the way.
1. Focus on producing high quality content
High quality content that provides a positive user experience is of utmost importance. Follow the tips below and you’ll be able to provide this kind of high quality content:
Do your research before you write - Focus on producing the kind of content your audience is looking for. Understand what it is your audience wants and give it to them. This way you will also make sure you’re not wasting your time producing content your audience is not interested in.
Staying in tune with hot and trending topics - Stay in tune with what’s going on in your niche and you’ll be able to come up with new and exciting ideas for content.
Use solid examples and illustrations - Examples and illustrations are a great way to add an extra element to your content. You can also use them to emphasize certain points you want to make.
Formatting of your posts - Formatting is important for Google. Make sure you break up your posts with compelling headlines, paragraph breaks, and even use bullet points or numbered lists.
Proof read - Google likes content that has been proof read. Make sure you proof read your content for basic spelling errors. Your readers will also thank you for it.
2. Keep up to date and relevant
Content that is outdated and no longer useful is penalised by Google. If you have case studies or some other information that is out of date and no longer relevant then Google won’t take kindly to it. Just try and keep content that contains this sort of information up to date and you’ll avoid any problems.
3. Evergreen content is the way to go
Evergreen content is highly valued by Google and readers. Evergreen content is basically content that is timeless, meaning it will always have value. Here are some examples of evergreen content:
Step-by-step instructions for particular tasks
Top tip posts
Industry jargon guides
Round up posts from experts
4. Don’t go overboard with keywords
Google doesn’t like keyword stuffing so don’t go overboard with this. Just write naturally and your keywords will appear naturally in the text, rather than look as if they have been specifically placed there.
Google measures keyword density based around the ratio of how many times you mention your keyword versus how much text is in your content. A simple rule of thumb is to keep the density at 2-4%. This way you can be safe.
However, the most important thing is to write naturally because your keywords will appear in the text anyway and this way it won’t look suspicious to Google. Keyword stuffing must be avoided at all costs.
5. No duplicate content
Copying other content word for word will get you penalised by Google. You should be using other content sources for inspiration rather than copying them word for word. It is also unethical to copy another person’s content word for word.
6. Write long content
Long content performs best so focus on writing longer blog posts. It also allows you to provide more information as well so it’s better for you, Google, and your readers. The length of your content has a direct correlation with your performance in the SERPs.
7. Don’t stray from your topic
Keeping on a topic is crucial. If you have a blog about real estate investing then don’t write posts on health and fitness. This should be common sense and straying from your topic can hurt your search engine rankings. To avoid this focus on creating an editorial calender with some ideas for content in advance.
8. Correct formatting
As has already been mentioned, write compelling headlines, bullet points, paragraph breaks. The kinds of things that make your content easy to read and digest.
9. Link to worthy content
Linking is important for Google so link to content that you think is truly useful. This will help with attracting your own links as well.
10. Produce engaging and educating content
Content that is engaging and provides some kind of educational value will provide a positive user experience. The higher your user experience, then the higher you will rank in Google.
Panda and Penguin updates are always going to occur and the key to making sure you don’t get penalised is to simply follow the rules. If you follow the rules and focus on producing high quality content then you will not have anything to worry about every time the Google algorithm is updated.
Do you have any other suggestions about staying on the safe side of Google with your content strategy?