During February 2011, Google Farmer, later known as Google Panda, invaded the Internet and for some users, unleashed a destructive website force. Its affect was particularly felt by SEO contractors and affiliate online marketers who were operating with what could be kindly referred to as dubious methods. The results in some instances were catastrophic with a loss of customers, resultant income and even livelihoods.
However, the main purpose of this Google initiative was the control of an ever-increasing spam intrusion that was prevailing especially within the Google index, with the consequences of Panda improving the search experience of users. Website and SEO ground rules were further revitalized by the arrival of the Google Panda update on 20 August.
The Panda at Work
The Principles of Panda are designed to ensure that websites have an original “on page” content that provides visitors with genuine and quality information. Furthermore, it protects users from duplicated content or content that is sparse, irrelevant or having excessive advertising-content ratios. In this respect, e-commerce and affiliate sites were amongst the primary sufferers, with automatically generated pages subjected to restrictions, such as auto-blogs, aggregator and the e-commerce based sites.
Other primary objectives of the Panda principle related to “off page” and the elimination of poor quality and link building designed strategies from content farming sites and articles. These casualties included Ezine Articles, GoArticles, How-to sites and general poor quality wiki sites, forums and blogs.
Panda 1.0 in the United States affected a significant 11:8 proportion of webmasters. For anyone subjected to this, then it is worth reading further regarding how to improve your particular SEO content. Another consideration is that if you have observed a reduction in normal viewing, this could have originated from your link profile on affected sites, with indirect repercussions for you.
SEO with Design and Development
SEO agencies were usually regarded as being separate from those concerned with design and development, due mainly to the variety of process changes demanded by each other. This has now changed to a significant degree because of SEO and optimized bases rapidly becoming the usual procedure. The majority of agencies have introduced elements to varying degrees, in their creation of new website building, for design, development and optimization factors.
Google published a guide related to “building high quality sites” motivated by the repercussions from the Panda update. Although directed mainly towards quality of content, it also referred to various aspects that applied to designers and developers. Examples were whether the website possessed duplicated, redundant or overlapping articles, with slight variations in keywords, but relative to the same or similar subjects.
There was and now more so, an awareness that duplicated content is a general enemy of the Internet. The additional scrutiny that is now prevalent for offending sites provides assurance for the user and adds value to their visiting experience.
Beware of the Panda
There are certain online platforms that are especially vulnerable to the Panda principle, for example, e-commerce. This is generally due to their having multiple paths or query links that direct users to the same product, or in some cases with slight modifications. Whether the site is related to a service or a product, the various enhancing factors can be determined as multiple variables. Therefore, the accepted structure of your URL and the perceived duplicated pages depends on how your e-commerce base presents them.
Although a variety of SEO plug-ins may have to be installed or purchased, the majority of modern platforms for e-commerce applications are able to cater for this factor in an effective way. This may not apply to those platforms that are outdated, or with a poor configuration and installation, which factors could result in the indexing of their sites on various URLs’.
As far as Google are concerned, they are improving in realizing the differences between parameters and query strings, offering the site visitor something original and others that track actions. There are varieties of options that solve the problem of duplication and at the same time, help Google and the Panda to keep the net clean.
The design and content of your site provide great opportunities for you to present a degree of trust in a service or product. Grammar, spelling and the overall presentation of your site are important factors. They represent not only your image, but also a reflection on your perception of a potential customer and what you are selling. Mistakes, short cuts and a lack of attention to detail could cause a significant reduction in credibility regarding any claims made regarding a product or service.