It’s all over my news feed this morning; a new Google Panda update is coming, and some website owners are a little concerned, to say the least.
Here’s what we know: This is a data update, not an algorithm update. And that’s about it. Google is notoriously close-mouthed when it comes to the details of updates and algorithms and basically everything that you want to know about what’s contributing to your site’s Page Rank.
That doesn’t mean that sites won’t be penalized, or that previously penalized sites whose owners have put in the work to get into shape won’t see some recovery. Either of those scenarios could happen with this upcoming Panda update.
While Google is constantly updating, it’s been awhile since we’ve heard the word “Panda”. For some reason, that one seems to send fear into the hearts of business owners everywhere. I can tell you now that the number of RFP’s I receive for copy-writing is going to double in the next few weeks, and, if sites are penalized with this update, those numbers will skyrocket. Many times, people don’t want to spend the time building a site that’s both SEO friendly and reader friendly, until their traffic drops off or they think (hope) that a visit from a Google fairy, with the implied improvement in Page Rank, is forthcoming.
But here’s the thing: As a business owner, you don’t have time for all of that rushing around. You’ve got other stuff to be doing instead of writing twenty blog posts and re-writing your “About Us” page that hasn’t been touched since the twentieth century. You’ve got a business to run, after all. And while copywriters are happy to handle the writing for you, if you’re trying to cram it all into a few weeks (the Panda update will hit sometime in the next two to four weeks), you’re going to be paying a premium for rush work and competing for the best copywriters.
Since The Quality Update in early May, where some sites were penalized, you’ve had four weeks to get some new, good copy up on your site. Did you? Have you gone through your site and looked at the existing copy to determine where you could make improvements to your search engine optimization or readability? Have you re-written your years-old “About Us” page?
Search Engine Optimization is not a one time deal. If you paid a company to get you to the top of the search engine rankings sometime in 2006, you’re not going to still be there today. Today, Page Rank is about many things, and the number of times you include your keywords in your text is just one component of that. If you work on a regular basis to ensure that your content is fresh and up to date (yes, I’m talking about your “About Us” page again), then there’s no need to panic any time Google has an update. Your Page Rank will regularly go up and down, although you should generally see an upward trend as you continue to add quality content.
You’ll bypass sites that have slowed down in content additions and you’ll occasionally get passed up as someone with the time to post daily (or money to pay a copywriter for more posts) passes you up. But there is no substitute for quality, well-written content on your site. That content should bridge the gap between search engine optimization and reader-friendly copy. Even if you’re not blogging (you should be), your product descriptions and other site pages need to be quality, and evaluated on a regular basis (at least yearly; quarterly for product descriptions) to make sure everything is still current. If you’re always mindful of your content, there’s no reason to panic.
So what can you do if you are in a panic about this upcoming Panda update? Not much. You can try to reach out to your favorite copywriter and see if she’s available, but realize that your favorite copywriter may well be booked. I would also advise you to look into creating a long-term content strategy that takes into consideration revising existing content and bringing new content online at least twice a week. This way, you’re never caught unprepared for a Google Panda update!
About Author: My name is Mark Clain. I support the effective adoption of new technologies or ways of working within writing by communicating complex information in an informative and inspiring way. My texts are varied – some of them are technical, requiring in-depth instruction, others are educational on Studymoose.com. I’m fond of writing articles for students, helping with essays.