Google are continuously making tweaks to improve the user-experience of their search engine. Yet, every so often they make a change with a significant impact to SEO, and the Panda 4.0 update is certainly one of them. When Matt Cutts announced the update in his Tweet on the 20th May 2014, some of the most popular websites online were already facing a huge drop in their rankings. And with reports that this update could affect 7.5% of English search queries, this could be one of the most impactful changes in Google’s history.
But what does the Panda update involve and how could it affect your website?
What are Google’s Panda Updates?
First introduced in February 2011, Panda is the name for a series of algorithm updates which intend to identify and penalise the rankings of low-quality websites. The updates focus on weeding-out websites with low quality content to allow legitimate, higher quality websites to rank higher in search. Panda 4.0 is the fourth in this series of updates.
What are the Effects of Panda 4.0?
The Panda 4.0 update is another step in Google’s ongoing aim to improve the relevance of search engine results, to provide users with better answers …
In their latest algorithm change, Facebook are cracking down on spam. The social network will focus on 3 practises that are clogging up news feeds, as part of their wider aim to improve the quality of user experience on the platform. As stated in their latest blog post, the network aims to reduce the prominence of like-bating, duplicate content and spammy links.
Like-baiting is the term for posting images, videos or links that encourage or ask for likes and shares. This content is posted with the aim of it circulating more widely than usual and in Facebook’s eyes, is seen as a cheat of the system.
Calls to action such as ‘like if you love bunnies or share if you love chicks’ can help to thrust posts to the top of news feeds, meaning they get a much wider reach. With low-quality posts like these taking prominence, more relevant content is drowned out, leading to a less enjoyable experience on the network. In fact, feedback has shown that users regard these types of stories as 15% relevant than other posts which receive a similar amount of engagement.
In the spirit of Easter, here’s our mock-up of like-bait:
Blogs – most of us have heard of them and many of us read them on a regular basis but do we all feature a blog on our business website? Considering the whole host of inbound marketing benefits, it seems surprising that there are still so many websites going without this nifty platform. Whether you’ve never thought about getting a blog, you’re thinking of getting a blog or you simply don’t understand the point, here are Pinnacle’s top 5 reasons why your business cannot afford to miss out:
1. An SEO Dream
As a company that specialises in search engine optimisation, we cannot praise the blog platform enough. Search engines such as Google love websites with frequently updated content and a blog is hands down the easiest way to accomplish this. Post regular content and Google will recognise your updates, improving your online visibility in search and driving more relevant traffic to your site. Plus, posts that are optimised with your keywords for your target audience can also show up in search. Don’t be surprised if your next customer finds you via a blog post.
2. Showcase Your Branding
Whereas your website is primarily a platform to promote your products …
Earlier this year, during the morbid month of January, the head of Google’s webspam team Matt Cutts dropped a bombshell for SEOs. His words were exactly these:
“Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.”
…and every SEO across the world shivered.
Yet, as bloggers began to go crazy on their keyboards to announce the end of the road for SEO, others looked a little closer at what Matt actually had to say.
Matt wasn’t calling for the end of guest blogging altogether. In fact, he was only highlighting something that most SEOs already knew. Yes, guest blogging had become a principal link building strategy, yes this is spammy and yes it goes against Google’s quality guidelines.
In stating the obvious, Matt was instigating a new wave of guest blogging with a purpose.
Where do we go From Here?
Before we go any further, let’s just make it clear that Guest Blogging is not dead but simply …