Sometime in March, Panda appears to have released it’s 25th version. What is Panda? It’s the aspect of Google’s mysterious algorithm that focuses solely on quality content, and weeds out those sites it deems unworthy. For businesses, this is actually great news – Panda is certainly your friend. Business sites should be very targeted and focused on their core niche, with no extemporaneous content. If you have a business selling eyeglasses, for example, you won’t stray and post things about foot braces or pitchforks – your content will be conceivably concise, on point, and current. At least that’s the idea. Panda helps to identify those link spammers that are attempting to skirt the quality-not-quantity adage, and therefore tends to reward businesses that are truly creating a great customer experience, and not trying to fool search engines. Again, that’s a good thing.
For bloggers, this is a much more slippery slope. As a writer that’s been keeping a blog about shamanism and enlightenment since 2006, I’ve got hundreds of pages of content. Although I try to stay on point, sometimes what’s flowing through my heart brings me to all manner of topics. And let’s face it, there’s nothing enlightenment does not touch. Unfortunately, this means that Panda has smacked me with duplicate content accusations. How do I know? Run a test in Google for site:poetkitty.com inurl:page – then skip to the last page of results. You’ll see Google is repressing additional results because it deems them “duplicates”. It isn’t duplicate content at all – all are original posts. But there’s too much waxing poetic for Google’s liking, so my SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) are severely damaged. I used to rank super high for searches that involved “enlightenment blog” or “Ayahuasca blog” – now, not so much.
In a way, it’s fine, as I don’t have blogs, and am not currently seeking any profit from my blogging. But I had intended that to change in the near future – now I have my work cut out for me. Not only do I need to launch a smart and concise marketing strategy, I have to redo the whole structure of the site for Panda’s sake, and hope that over time, organically my rankings will improve.
Search engines have become the hub of how we navigate the web, so nowadays, we simply must play by their rules. I trust they are doing their best to reward people giving quality content and sites, but it’s subjective how this is determined. But it doesn’t do any good to whine about what is, now does it? It’s lovely to just be informed, and play within the system we are dealt. It may take a bit more persistent, but the good guys will prevail.