Google Panda – pros and cons for your blog

Google Panda – pros and cons for your blog

by Beth Graddon-Hodgson

Most people could refrain from a cute panda picture when writing about this topic. I could not. B.

The changes implemented earlier this year by Google Panda have caused widespread panic online with many businesses seeing a drop in their rankings.  Now that the dust has settled,  over the next couple of weeks we are going to be exploring some of the things that you can do to make your blog content a bit more in line with the new guidelines that Google has set out.

But first, to give you a better understanding of what these changes mean, let’s look at the pros and cons as they pertain to your blog content:

Pros of Google Panda

  • Sites being produced simply for SEO purposes that are unreadable will no longer hold high rankings
  • The most reputable resources like government sites will have the highest rankings (theoretically as they contain the highest quality quantitative content and outbound links), making it easier to conduct research online
  • Too much self-promotion can cause a site to fall in the rankings, meaning content that appears too self-serving is not a good idea. This applies to the web copy and the links

In theory, these changes should be positive overall considering the above, however, the way the algorithims have been developed means that “good” websites will be hurt.

Cons of Google Panda

  • Not all blog content needs to have quantitative research, when you’re the authority on a subject, your word is law
  • Linking to other sites that have been condemned by Google Panda could be harmful to a site’s rankings, even if the sites make strong points
  • One of the points that they consider negative is a site with a high bounce rate. Just because no one stays on a site for long, doesn’t mean it’s “bad”. It takes a little while to get higher quality visits as you fine-tune your blog content to attract your target audience. This hurts sites just starting up before they even have the opportunity to get off the ground

Stay tuned, in the upcoming weeks we will explore some of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to optimizing your blog for Google Panda.

For more information on the details of Google Panda, Kristi Hines wrote a great article in SearchEngineWatch in March.

  • Anon
    Posted at 15:50h, 07 June Reply

    Here is a bit more substantial information and details. The key to understanding the Panda Update is often NOT believing every word that comes out of Google’s mouth.

    • bonnie
      Posted at 16:04h, 07 June Reply

      thanks for the link anon!

  • Charles
    Posted at 00:11h, 08 June Reply

    Hey Bonnie!

    I’m a big fan of your blog! As a digital strategist in Colorado, I’ve worked with several companies that have experienced some tremendous ranking drops through Google. Often times, the companies paid for a massive link package prior to the Panda update. I’ve seen some 1st page rankings drop over 20 pages due to the main domain having more than 10,000 low quality backlinks!

    Google 1 : Black Hat: 0 ;-p

  • Beth Graddon-Hodgson
    Posted at 22:59h, 09 June Reply

    Charles, unfortunately that seems to be a common trend – pre-Panda strategies that were once effective are now hurting websites. At this point, it’s a bit like rebuilding the wheel

  • Mouh
    Posted at 04:07h, 11 June Reply

    I believe the change Google has made is for our good. The changes affect Content Farms that have A LOT of useless content. The change doesn’t affect “real” bloggers who write unique and quality content but can’t get higher rankings because they don’t have as much content as these Content Farms.

  • Carmen
    Posted at 14:12h, 14 June Reply

    I’ve just read part two of this post and am working backwards …

    the point about outbound links stands out to me again – it is such a sensible move on the part of google in serving the reader. It serves the point of adding value with relevant references plus increasing the rank for the sites that are linked out to making them even more important in googles eyes.

    From an SEO point of view I’m going to go to the extra bit of effort to find relevant authority sites that can reinforce whatever it is that I’m writing about.

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