It has been a long held belief of mine that if you want your site to rank well and consistently in the search engines, then you need to be providing good quality information (content) to your visitors and a great user experience.

I’m also an advocate of using articles on other sites as part of your marketing strategy…. But lately I’ve been hearing a lot about Google’s Panda update and what that means to this style of strategy.

However, reading the Google blog, I was pleased to see the following quote:

Our advice for publishers continues to be to focus on delivering the best possible user experience on your websites and not to focus too much on what they think are Google’s current ranking algorithms or signals.

It’s really important for us as “marketeers” to remember that the search engines want to deliver quality, relevant information to their customer – the searcher. If we aren’t delivering that, then we won’t be ranked.

The Google article then goes on to state:

Panda was just one of roughly 500 search improvements we expect to roll out to search this year. In fact, since we launched Panda, we’ve rolled out over a dozen additional tweaks to our ranking algorithms, and some sites have incorrectly assumed that changes in their rankings were related to Panda.

Whilst Panda may have bee one of the bigger undertakings for Google, it certainly isn’t the only change, or enhancement, they’ve made.

Google goes on to explain that the improvements in the algorithms (the formula used to determine search engine rankings) is aimed at helping people find “high-quality” sites by reducing the rankings of low-quality content and provides a series of questions used when they, Google boffins, are actually writing the algorithms…

  • Would you trust the information presented in this article?
  • Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
  • Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  • Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
  • Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
  • Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
  • Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
  • How much quality control is done on content?
  • Does the article describe both sides of a story?
  • Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
  • Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  • Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?

This is just some of the questions that the Google engineers consider when creating the ranking algorithm.  What I find interesting is that many of questions are the SAME questions I would ask if I was buying from a site.

Overall, remember that Google wants to deliver quality information to it’s clients and WE as site owners can help them do that…..

What are your thoughts?

About the Author Charly Dwyer

Charly has more than 30 years experience in the IT industry ranging from hands-on technical, to high-level business management, Charly has installed and configured computing equipment and has managed business contracts in excess of $25 million dollars.

As a result, Charly identifies the best way to integrate solutions and technologies for the most cost effective way to achieve a businesses outcome.

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