Hey Google What Is Going On?
The goal of these updates is to ensure that when someone does a search, relevant information is returned.
Google's Matt Cutts said the update was designed in order to cut back on the rankings for sites of lower quality, sites that don't add value for users, sites that are guilty of copying content from the websites of others, and just not helpful or useful at all.
Cutts also says the Panda update and subsequent changes will make for improved rankings for sites of high quality, i.
sites with quality original content.
Some examples of this would be analytical reports, results from research findings, sites that lend themselves toward thoughtful analysis...
and so forth.
The result of these changes has lead to local businesses falling in the rankings or worse yet, having their accounts suspended.
The Google doesn't want searchers being unhappy with the search results - this might send them looking for another search solution such as Bing or Yahoo.
You can read about these updates on Google's official blog on the subject.
Also, if you feel that your website has been unfairly affected, you can report this to Google.
So exactly what factors may affect your site (keep in mind that only Google has all the answers)? Google likes things that can be calculated with algorithms, so here are a few we have found from our research: A high percentage of duplicate content either on the page or within the website.
Make sure that you have unique content and are not repeating yourself within your site.
A low percentage of original content within your site.
This is one of the reasons we encourage our clients to use stories about their customers.
What questions do they ask you and how to you describe your answer.
If you are speaking from a personal standpoint, then the content will always be original and relevant because it is what people are asking about.
A high number of pages with low content.
Make sure that each page has at least 250 words.
Add pictures and videos with captions and good descriptions.
(Remember, Google can't read a picture or video but they can read the alt tags and descriptions.
) Content that is irrelevant.
If you have a website about baseball, don't write about landscaping just to fill the pages.
This is a big one - page content that is not relevant to the page title.
If your title is about Gardenias, talk about Gardenias and don't wander off into talking about Roses.
May sound silly, but you would be surprised at how many business owners start writing about one topic, but soon drift off onto something else.
Aside from content, low bounce rates will affect your ranking.
If someone comes to your site expecting one thing and readily sees that your site does not apply, they leave and Google takes notice.
Along these same lines are low visit times on each page.
Do people come back to your site? If you have content that is updated on a regular basis, they will come.
Be sure and let your Facebook fans, LinkedIn connections and Twitter followers know when you have fresh content.
This is a biggie.
Google wants to see that other sites are linking to your website.
We will cover this in another article, but some examples for local businesses are a link from the Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau or press releases.