Google Panda: Newly released SEO algorithm changes act more like a grizzly

The panda has been released! The good news: it is a much better web search experience for Google users. The more challenging news: companies are going to have to react to these changes and implement new web practices.  The new Google algorithm, called Panda, was created to lower rankings for low-quality sites.

One of the very visible changes with Panda is the ability for USERS to block content delivered to them with one click.  Google has promised that they will not use blocking data to change the algorithm, instead they will watch blocking data to authenticate the algorithm. “Authenticate not change,” sounds a little like “Trust but verify;” – potential slippery slope if concerted efforts are launched to artificially suppress content by users…or rival companies.

Here’s an example of how users can block content:

In this search, I am using Mozilla Firefox to search “Twister.”  I get a mix of the children’s game, the movie starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton, and tornadoes. I also come across a random restaurant called Twister, seen below.

If you click a link, then hit the back button return to the Google search, you will see an opportunity to block that result from the search.

In this second picture, if you look at the area highlighted in the yellow circle, you’ll see “Block all http://www.twistersgrill.com results”

In early testing using the Google Chrome browser, they found an 84 percent overlap in sites that were negatively impacted by Panda and sites that users had blocked during the Chrome testing.

Winners in a world after Panda will be companies focusing on high-quality original content. Marketers should consider blogs, infographics, webinars, whitepapers, etc. to attract links with authority. Copify Director Martin Harrison describing the increase in copywriting jobs “SEOs are realizing that quality content really will make the difference as Google continues to refine its algorithm.” Google Engineer, Matt Cutts described Panda impact, “The net effect is that searchers are more likely to see the sites that wrote the original content rather than a site that scraped or copied the original site’s content.”

Backlinks are legitimate traffic drivers to high quality content. Marketers should strive to secure quality backlinks to increase authority to your website. Backlinks from content farms like answers.com, ezine.com, eHow.com and Suite101.com are detrimental to your organic web search.

Keyword bloat is a slow death sentence for any website. You have to choose relevant keywords that will work together on the page. Keyword bloat happens when companies use keyword density as a measure of optimization and they constantly add keywords in an attempt to improve page rankings.  One of the ways Panda can discern keyword bloat is the length of time it takes for the website to load.

Tell us if you’ve used the new block content option from Google and if you have seen an improvement in searching. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us for free on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.

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