Google Panda 4.0
What You Need to Know
Google's Panda algorithm, created in 2011, was designed to prevent high ranking results in a Google query for lower quality content sites. When first released it impacted 11.8% of the English queries made through Google. Subsequent updates of the algorithm have been so frequent that Google stopped announcing refreshes and updates.
This changed in May 2014 when Google announced the release of Panda 4.0. Panda 4.0 is the next wave of Google, lowering the ranking of sites that don't have original copy. This new Panda release seems to have targeted aggregator websites (sites reposting information and collecting information from different sites rather than original content). Press portals, press release sites, news sites that re-published stories, and price comparison sites were the type of sites hit hardest with the latest version of Panda 4.0.
Google's sophisticated ranking algorithms consider hundreds of different factors when determining how a page should rank for a specific query. Words on a page, images, websites linking to the page, the "quality" of these inbound links, spelling mistakes, site speed and "user interaction" are only a few of the factors considered when Google decides where to place a page in the search engine ranking results.
The Panda algorithm, in general, seeks to reward with higher ranking sites that offer high quality, original, focused content and punishes with a lower rank sites with thin content, re-published content and "spammy" user generated content.
Some of the sites that showed a drop in SEO visibility after the Panda 4.0 release, as reported by SearchEngine Land, include: PRNewsWire.com, PRWeb.com, BusinessWire.com, and PRLog.org. All of these sites showed a drop in SEO visibility between 60-70%. yellowpages.com also saw a 20% visibility decrease.
Matt Cutts' recommendation to webmasters anxious to avoid being penalized by all versions of Panda is:
"If you think you might be affected by Panda, the overriding kind of goal is to try to make sure that you've got high-quality content, the sort of content that people really enjoy, that's compelling, the sort of thing that they'll love to read that you might see in a magazine or in a book, and that people would refer back to, or send friends to, those sorts of things."
To withstand the negative impact of Google's Panda 4.0 publish rich, original, interesting, and useful content.
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Google Panda Infographic
Getting Responsive to a Growing Mobile Userbase
Do you know what your site looks like on a tablet?
In a nutshell, Responsive Design is preparing your site to automatically look good on any screen. It's making your site mobile-friendly and reducing the need for a separate mobile app. With 81
percent of people preferring mobile for its convenience and speed (Vocus blog), and 77 percent of mobile searches occurring at home or work — even if a PC is nearby and readily available (Search Engine Land), it's increasingly important to get your site searchable and accessible for mobile and tablet.
Even more relevant for tablets? Tablet users access search 73.9 percent of the time, more than any other activity, according to eMarketer.com.
How does your site look on mobile or tablet? (Have you even checked lately?) If it's not designed for different sized screens and applications, then you're missing out on an important userbase that may avoid your site if it's difficult to use —or just simply looks bad on their screen.
Moral of the Story? Get your site responsive, now.
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