Unlike the elusive Chinese bear, Google’s Panda refresh news is not necessarily black and white. While some see the announcement as a long overdue update, many in the web development world aren’t holding their breath.
Google announces Panda Algorithm refresh
It all started at SMX Advanced when Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes announced its release in 2-4 weeks and referred to it multiple times as a data refresh, not an algorithmic change. As a result, it’s unlikely that it will have the same kind of impact that Panda Algorithm 4.1 had last year.
The original Panda was released in February, 2011. It was Google’s new search filter, created to keep poor quality content from wiggling its way into Google’s top search results and, as a result, allow organic and content-driven sites to do better.
How do I handle this new update?
Since the updates won’t happen for another few weeks, it’s not time to panic. However, it’s also not your chance to suddenly start throwing spit balls on your website to see what sticks. Real content—substantial and meaningful, like we discussed in our “thin content” blog—take time to grow and develop. Remember, a website’s true goal is to answer human question for human readers. If you are only writing for Google bots, Panda *should* be able to sift those out.
This new refresh divides web analysts into three camps:
- Great news! Copy writers just became more valuable.
- Oh crap. Just when a company thought it was living on easy street, Panda upsets the apple cart and creates new havoc.
- Whatever. I’m just going to keep following best practices.
Ultimately, we’re taking the #3 path. If the Panda algorithm really is meant to be an assessment of a web site’s quality, our customers shouldn’t notice a thing (and maybe even benefit) after the change. As long as you’ve been keeping up with your content, you can continue to view a REAL panda from the San Diego Zoo’s pandacam as a cute distraction.
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photo credit – top: Marc Blickle