Contrary to what you might think, Google’s ultimate goal isn’t to sabotage your website’s search engine rankings. What makes Google the powerhouse that it is rests in its desire for webmasters to create the best user experience possible. All of the recent and up-and-coming algorithm updates are structured with this objective in mind.
You have to remember that Google provides a service to the public. Whatever terms we enter into search, we expect to quickly and easily find the information that fits without having to do a lot of sifting through irrelevant or poorly written material.
While there are more components involved in a website having low search engine rankings than we can address in this one post, focusing on content provides us with a good starting point.
Putting the Microscope on “Quality”
Google looks down upon a wide range of short-cuts to get high search engine rankings. If your website contains a lot of duplicate content, for instance, it’s highly likely that this is why your site tanked after a Panda update. Some additional practices to avoid range from hiding links to keyword stuffing. Two of the biggest questions to consider that Google mentions on its quality guidelines for content are as follows:
“Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
Because Panda penalizes sites with content that is found on multiple pages within a site or on pages from other sites, this means that you have to write your own content and make it original. If you’re asking yourself who has the time to do that, then you’re not alone. Content creation does take time and it’s not just about the actual writing. You have to evaluate who your target audience is and understand what information they need the most. A solid grip on search engine optimization (SEO) also plays a role because you need to know what keywords are pertinent to your users and what links to include. However, Panda also crushes over-optimized content, so you can’t simply write your content only with keywords and the search engines in mind.