Google Panda Update hits more countries

Who Does Google Panda Update Affect?

Google search engine occasionally updates how it indexes and ranks web pages. Google suggests spam is a huge problem for them, yet I search a great deal every day and I don’t see a great deal of spam in my search results. There doesn’t appear to be big public uproar about search engine spam yet Google insists it is a problem. 

Recently the search engine giant (enjoying its monopoly and record advertising revenue) rolled out an update some have called the Panda update.  It is estimated that it affected 12% of searches. Webmasters give these Google updates names so people can discuss the changes in forums and blogs. This latest search algorithm update has hurt the traffic to some websites.  It was just rolled out this week in the UK, and people are talking about how their sites have lost rankings and traffic.

A few are critical of Google’s motives for conducting these sorts of updates since it doesn’t bring about much change in the search results. This one might be called the Much ado about nothing update. Others say its a zero sum gain since some sites win and others lose, so for Google there’s not much at stake. Critics claim that Google’s real motive is to force more successful sites to lose their traffic so they will have buy adwords ads instead. They suggest that greed is Google’s only motive for the changes. I would agree that these updates are very suspicious. It’s supposedly about quality in the search results, yet many good sites have lost traffic while others of a poorer quality are doing alright. It’s difficult to understand what the changes were really about.

Google is still adjusting this latest algorithm change so we could see changes in rankings in client sites. Google designed the Panda update to cull out poor quality sites. To them, poor quality sites are those with repeated information, or little text, basically sites with low levels of original content. Some onlookers suggest that slow loading pages with ads and little valuable content were the hardest hit.  Google can identify servers/hosts who have a lot of websites with little original content so being hosted on those servers may place some sites in jeopardy. Google brags about their update here.

Google is using searcher blocking information (people who have blocked a particular website) to identify bad neighbourhoods and the sites that are linked from them.

Panda Update Video
Google Panda Update Video
Google Panda Update at Search Engine Land

It has always been an advantage for any website that contained a lot of pages since it meant they would draw more traffic from search engines. With todays technology, webmasters and site owners can generate hundreds of thousands of pages of poor quality content, only to manipulate search engines. So, Google’s doing the Panda update to cull out all of those useless pages.  Not such a bad thing really for SEO’s since the automation of web pages has caused some to say that SEO is dead. Well, the Panda update may put the ball back in our court albeit with much more difficulty. The SEO game is becoming very challenging.

Fresh, Original Content is in

Original content is the key, since that in itself fights the use of static poor quality pages, but content still must be optimized to rank well and produce visits from search engine users.

Social media is one more factor in adding to original and valuable content. Social media widgets allow for interaction between people as well as allowing for the discovery of content, particularly blog posts and video contributions.   Linking out to other websites may actually something Google likes to see so there’s no reason for you not to link out to other valuable sites on real estate topics. Just don’t link to your competitors. Social media is revolutionizing the web, but few people have mastered it well for SEO purposes. Perhaps the Panda update is pushing everyone in that direction. The downside is that social media is time intensive and may take a good chunk of your promotional budget. As an agent, you’ll want to find a way to do this time efficiently.

If you’re thinking of hiring an Indian company to create junk content for your site, the Panda Update means that might not be a good idea. Any sort of poor quality content on your site  or posting on article sites and press release submission sites may actually lower your rankings overall.  If you have hundreds of MLS listings for instance, it’s possible Google may begin penalizing for showing those listings too. It’s the same content that is on hundreds of other realtor sites.

Google Panda may be a boon for custom idx developers since they may be able to make your mls listings pages unique to Google.

If you have links to your website from sites out there on the web that are of poor quality, you could have seen your rankings and traffic drop too.  So, you may need to acquire new links, particularly from good quality sites. Not an easy task when you have no interesting “buzz” to offer the real estate world. It all points to the need to do a comprehensive job with SEO. Hiring cheap SEO services from India won’t deliver the results you need. Your efforts have to be more genuine and you’ll be a part of the whole search engine optimization and content development plant.

It’s time to think more creatively that’s for sure. That’s never a problem for real estate marketers who adjust to the new search sphere by integrating new websites, social media sites, and who create original content. The material you’re reading on this blog is the kind of content search engines like. Are you getting lots of traffic via your blog right now? Please let me know.

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