We all know that numerous websites rely on an artificially created network of links and content to build visibility and increase traffic. It is the nature of SEO – but not all SEO is the same. The purpose of the changes made to Google’s search algorithm over the past year are meant to enforce what were previously regarded as the best practices for SEO: content and link building. The changes all focus on the quality of your content and links. Websites that followed the guidelines and created useful and relevant content have remained unaffected and even improved their rankings as the changes unfolded. Others, who relied heavily on poor quality content and over-optimization have suffered and are now struggling to catch up. The difference is in the content. Useful, relevant and timely content rules the internet and drives rank and traffic.
Focus on Quality, Relevant Content
Content has always been the king of the internet. From the very beginning users and search engines alike have been striving to find the best content available. From the earliest home-made websites all the way to today, the best quality websites and content always receive the most attention from users. Unfortunately, search engines and their web crawlers do not have the same ability to distinguish high quality content from poor quality content and must rely on numbers and algorithms to rank web pages. Thanks to the digital nature of web searches, it has been possible to positively impact search engine rankings with very poor content. The rise of the highly competitive field of internet search engines has resulted in an ever evolving stream of content sources – some good, some bad. In its ongoing effort to improve web search and user experience, Google has changed the way it views web content. Quality and relevancy are now more important than ever.
The Panda Update marked the beginning of the new quest for quality and has had a wide ranging impact on internet content. The update is geared toward ranking websites according to quality, giving fresh and relevant websites better positioning in SERP’s compared to older websites, irrelevant websites or spam websites. Panda focuses on the website as a whole and not individual pages, strengthening the need to offer high quality content throughout your site.
Quality Content trumps Quantity
Panda had some loop holes that became apparent quickly after its launch. These loopholes were being exploited by unethical SEO companies and needed to be mended. These loopholes were addressed by updates made to Panda as well as the introduction of a whole new algorithm seeking to screen spam sites out of search results. The Penguin Update released this year went on to further quantify the quality of your website and its online presence. Now, the quality of your links is as important as the quality of your website. A system of irrelevant and useless content linking to your site is a dead weight dragging your site down in rankings. When it comes to Penguin, quality trumps quantity – making the content of your website the most important factor of your SEO efforts.