How Worried Should You be About Google's Panda?

One of the hottest topics in the SEO world this spring has been Google’s Panda update. This significant change in Google's ranking algorithms has had many negative and positive ranking effects for many websites. People are ranting and raving about how Panda has unfairly hurt their site. In case you haven’t heard, there has been another update. It’s version 2.2 and it just went into effect the week of June 20th.

While Panda represents a big change, it isn’t something to fear. In fact, this “animal” has the potential to improve the relevancy of Google’s search results and help your site. The impetus behind Panda was to improve Google’s search engine results by providing more prominence to websites with valued and unique content that deliver a good experience to the user, and filter out sites comprised primarily of generic content and flush with black and grey-hat SEO techniques. This means that sites with useful and relevant content are now ranking higher, while sites employing generic content, content scraping, and other corner cutting techniques to increase rankings have dropped.

As has always been the case, focusing on content, which is useful and original, should be a primary focus of your SEO efforts. The more search engines advance in their ranking algorithms, the less effective cheap or easy tactics such as massive lists of keywords, reciprocal links, and other, more dubious SEO techniques will be. In order to maintain or increase your search engine rankings, you should focus on creating useful and original content throughout your website, do it on a continual basis, and pay close attention to user engagement measurements like page views, time on site, etc.