I have noticed whenever there is a change to the Google’s algorithm, everyone panics. Those that did not pay attention to seo before, suddenly sit up and take notice. The latest algorithm news was the panda or farmer update.
Why did Google introduce the Panda alogrithm?
They wanted to clean up the search engine results pages from low quality websites. Content farms and sites which that had a lot poor quality information were hit the most. Some of these included well known article syndication sites like Ezine Articles.
(source of photo: http://terry.henfleet.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Google-Big-Panda-Update2.jpg)
So how do you know if you have lost out on the update?
Check your rankings and your website traffic from the beginning of April until now. If you have lost traffic and rankings and year on year it is low, then you have been affected.
How can you make sure your website is not negatively affected?
Do not use any black hat techniques which the panda update aimed to stop. Do not overload your page with keywords. check if there are sites out there that are copying your content like article sites, other industry blogs etc. If they are, ensure your duplicated content is removed post haste. Content should be 100% unique on each of your websites and within the website.
Who has lost out?
Poor quality websites and link farms, putting more emphasis on quality link building than ever before. So some low PageRank business directories or article sites could now harm your site rather than help it. When it comes to link building try and focus on the quality of links back rather than the quantity.
Who has won?
Those sites that have high quality content who regularly update their site with good articles and posts. As there were many losers, there are bound to be many winners as well. Some of the sites that have won are quite specialised in its own industry and provide great content:
So if you lost out, what should you do?
Trust is also a factor in the Google’s update. Websites that used too many adverts like AdSense or Affiliate Marketing banners were deemed to be untrustworthy. The focus now seems to be delivering quality to the end user, so filling the top half of your website (above the fold) with adverts instead of content could now be harmful to your site as well as your end user.
Vary your link building strategy
Build a good variety of links from a wide range of quality sources. Article sites are still a good way of creating backlinks for your website, but the focus should be on writing longer, unique content to prove your knowledge in your niche. It is even better if you can find a niche article site within your industry for improved relevance. I would suggest you optimise any press releases you have and syndicate them to high authority press release sites. Advertorials are a great way to get high authority links back to your site.
On page optimisation
Create good quality unique content for your site. If you create quality content relevant to your sites subject/industry this will help you build relevance to certain keywords and improve your overall authority in that niche.
The update just reinforces that fact the Google is King of the web and we must all be using seo best practice to make sure we are appearing as high in the SERPs as possible.