Is Panda Playing with your Placement?

Google continues to change their algorithms, as they have for over the last decade. The last few Google Panda updates appear to be rewarding High Quality Websites.

What does this mean?
From the Search Engine Watch Article written by Danny Goodwin

1. Is the content on your site trustworthy?
2. Does the content on your web and blog pages provide obvious, shallow information or do they have depth?
3. Does your web site and blog provide duplicate, overlapping, or redundant content?
4. Do your web and blog pages pay attention to detail? Are they well edited with no spelling or factual errors?
5. Do your web pages have original content and information?
6. Is your web site and blog considered an authoritative reference on your subject? (IE: Your Inn)
7. Is your web site and blog content spread across a variety of other online web sites, diluting your authority?
8. Would your guests complain when they view your site?

…for all the geniuses Google employs, they can’t figure out how to determine the originator of the exact same content.” [More]

Experts are viewing Duplicate Content or Lack of Original Content as an area for Google to begin to look at more intently when it comes to placement.

1) “Another theme commonly associated with the [Panda] update are sites that lack original or unique content.
2) “I believe that on-site duplicate content has always been a no-no from Google. However, I think similar — and thus less than ‘original’ or ‘unique’ — content will begin to take a larger knock from Googlebot.
Cited from: Search Engine Watch – Josh McCoy

What should you actively be doing?

a) Do NOT plagiarize ANY sections of content on your site or blog from any other online sources.
b) Always cite snippets of content similarly as I have done above. Include credit, via a link, of that snippet going back to the original publisher and publishing document.
c) Only use snippets to reference other publishers. Never copy in text, in its entirety, from any location on the web, to your web site or blog. This includes but is not limited to:

a. Attraction data from a local chamber, travel or competitors site.
b. Reviews or Accolades from travel sites.

d) Use only fresh content when providing text to other sites who advertise for you. IE: do not copy verbatim from your site or blog your…

a. Specials or Packages
b. Directory Listings Description for Online Directories

e) Do not feed your entire blog or web site content via RSS feeds to other online sites. This dilutes your authority. Providing a snippet with a reference to the appropriate page on your site is fine. But never load the entire contents of a blog post or web page to another site.

What do you do if you know you’ve broken these rules?

a) Go back and update either your web page and blog content to be unique or go change it on all your advertising sites.

Beyond your permission, how do you check if someone has scraped or used your blog or web content on their site?

a) Use a tool such as http://www.copyscape.com
b) An even easier way to test for duplicate content is just to use Google Web Search box. Copy a blurb or snippet from each page on your site and blog into the Google search box. Make sure to place double quotes “ “ around that entire section and search for it else where on the web. The results are where your content has been used on other sites.

a. Make a list of any duplications of your content.
b. Start cleaning up your duplicate content either by updating YOUR site / blog or updating the site where your content has been placed.
c. Also, note any RSS feeds you might have in place and deal with them also. Either provide ONLY snippets from your content with the appropriate citations or remove feeds altogether.

We are seeing clients that have been in business for many, many years with an accumulation of their content being found on a variety of other places online.

If you’ve found your placement slipping, it very well may be due to Panda and the topics we’ve discussed above.

As always, if you need assistance, please contact Annie@acorn-is.com or call 877-226-7699. We are happy to consult with you at our normal billing rates to assist you in determining a todo list of items that need to be resolved.

Lisa Kolb
President and Co-Founder
Acorn Internet Services, Inc.
Educating our Industry One Client at a Time!

4 thoughts on “Is Panda Playing with your Placement?

  1. Very informative blog. Am dealing with the same issues and it is alot of work.! Does Google look at our mobile sites as an extension of our website or does that data need to be different as well?

    • Cindee,

      There are a variety of “Google Approved” ways your webmaster can setup your mobile site / pages so that Google does NOT see them as duplicate content. You’ll need to check with them to see which one they have adopted for your Web site and Blog. Google Guidelines.

      Lisa

  2. e) Do not feed your entire blog or web site content via RSS feeds to other online sites. This dilutes your authority. Providing a snippet with a reference to the appropriate page on your site is fine. But never load the entire contents of a blog post or web page to another site.

    Does this mean that those wonderful tools that take our blog post to our FaceBook and Twitter pages should NOT be used any longer????????? Who has time to ALL those posts?!?!? Yikes!

    • Dee,

      The keyword here is “ENTIRE”. Twitter and FB is typically an excerpt or snippet with a link. Watch this Matt Cutts Video. The situation in the video is the snippet from your blog on your home page, but the Snippet concept applies on any website, blog or syndication site that is using your content on their site. It’s the safest way to go at this point, and basically builds the authority that you were the original author.

      Lisa

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