How Google has changed the web for good.

22

Dec

2011

Robert Wakefield
0 Comments

By Robert Wakefield   

The Panda (also known as Farmer) update which Google started using around March/ April time 2011 has been the cause of much discussion of late. Many business owners will know about Panda because of the damage it has done to their website rankings; others may be loving Panda because their sites now rank higher. As you might expect, we come across clients in both camps. We’d love to know how it’s affected you..

The Panda (also known as Farmer) update which Google started using around March/ April time 2011 has been the cause of much discussion of late. Many business owners will know about Panda because of the damage it has done to their website rankings; others may be loving Panda because their sites now rank higher. As you might expect, we come across clients in both camps. We’d love to know how it’s affected you.

Panda, named after a Google algorithm engineer, has certainly made its mark but it’s also taught us a lot about the way Google is changing the web (for good). In the nineties web developers and designers built web sites for their customers and their visitors; they made them as pretty as the tools of the day allowed, put some good content in for the visitor to read and that was it. Search engines like Alta Vista, Lycos, (remember them?) MSN (now Bing), Yahoo! and Google would come round and these websites would soon be at the top of the page for most relevant searches. Then the noughties came along and SEO techs (a new species of human life) emerged; weirdly, during the noughties someone said it would be really cool to write web content, not for the human visitor – the intended reader, but for the search engines themselves. A rash of poorly constructed websites emerged with even more poorly written content ...until ....along came a Panda.

We know Google are on a mission to improve search quality (we think they’re doing pretty well already) and Panda forms a critical part of that mission; a mission, incidentally, that is likely to continue for at least the next decade. So it’s never been more important for businesses, web developers and SEO gurus to sit up and listen to Google, which already accounts for about 75% of all search engine traffic.

Think of a website a bit like a business card; if you knew someone (a friend, business associate, relative) who was interested in/ needed a particular product or service, you might give them the details of a company you know who might help.  Google wants to judge websites on their ‘experience’ factor – how much you love them. Did you enjoy your visit and would you be likely to recommend that site to someone you know? This is what Panda is all about: Google have now demoted those sites that offered poor content, were poorly built (experience value = low) in favour of professionally constructed sites with helpful, useful content written for humans, not robots, that you and I might want to share with others. It’s a bit like telling your friends about that really good Italian restaurant you ate at the other night; they tell their friends and Google says "It must be good because people are sharing it."

Everything seems to have gone full circle and we’re now back to where we started in the nineties – except that the internet is now about 100 million times more crowded than it was then and competing for top positions has never been harder. Panda has made SEO a must, not an optional extra any more.

As our economy continues to struggle and growth forecasts for 2012 remain cautious, it’s never been more critical for business owners to review their online operations and ask themselves “Does my website really cut it?” With over one billion searches on Google every day and 85% of those resulting in organic clicks (not paid), can any of us really afford to ignore this opportunity?

To learn more about how our results-based SEO can benefit your business, just pick up the phone or drop us a line; advice and consultation is free and entirely without obligation.



About the Author.

Robert Wakefield


My career in SEO and web development began in the mid-1990s when the Internet was in its infancy and Google had not even been conceived. Nowadays my role is split between heading up the content marketing/ SEO department, which has grown considerably over recent years, and overseeing operations including PHP and MySql (Open Source) development for larger, more bespoke applications.

Leave a comment

Captcha Image
Comments (0)
Post has no comments.