SEO & Google Updates: How To Shift Lanes To Avoid Glitches
Why does it seem that the world stops when Google releases major updates and changes?
You just can’t be too comfortable with the latest version of any Google release, because there’s always another one right around the corner. This time? It’s Panda 4.0.
You can ignore Google updates at your own peril: now on its 14th year of operation, Google is considered the dominant force in search engines with over 1.1 billion users worldwide. About 79% of Android users have the Google operating system and the estimated number of searches per month on Google is over 114 billion!
Interestingly, Google has been very aggressive in updating their algorithms, except in 2013 when they slowed down and “took a break.” Now we understand why this happened. Google came up with its new Panda 4.0 that is fully integrated into the Google algorithm.
For Search Engine Optimization (SEO) marketers and strategists, there is a need to understand how this new Panda update is going to affect the rest of 2014. Not knowing and working with the new features could spell disaster for your website and its Page Ranking. The cautionary tales are around, as an unprepared eBay dropped drastically in ranking because of the update.
What do you need to know to avoid being that cautionary tale? What features can you now take advantage of to improve your marketing? And what two strategies can help you best embrace Panda 4.0?
The New Features of Google
Maps status location – An important improvement that you need to follow. This will tell you if the map is updated, unverified, has errors, is under review, or is in conflict with other data. For SEO, this is a critical feature because it can cause all your SEO efforts to fail if you are unaware that your brick and mortar shop’s location is difficult to find.
Google Places – This is great news. With the new update, there will only be one verified owner for the Google Places page. You will no longer be in competition with any another verified user for the same location. The previous problem of some Google users of their business information being underwritten because of data conflicts will no longer happen. However, it is possible to assign managers to access accounts under a shared responsibility clause.
New Data Interface – Data conflicts are now a thing of the past as a new interface has been launched. You can view your website live on Google and if you notice problems with any field on your dashboard, you can fix it immediately. Looked at another way, there is now no reason now to ignore data conflicts!
SEO and Panda 4.0
Panda 4.0 demands that your website adheres to a high standard in quality and content. No more will you be allowed to post duplicate content, fluff, or the same content repeatedly. Although this was already a standard requirement of Google before the new Panda 4.0, it seems that Google is trying to really enforce a new standard in website content.
For SEO and online business owners, there are 2 important points to remember.
1. Fresh, Unique Content – Websites with duplicate or copied content will suffer from low Page Ranking, as the new algorithm will weed them out. Start a blog if you can for your new content and link it back to your website. Have a schedule of posting both articles and images or videos so you don’t forget this critical phase of online business.
2. Improve User Experience with an updated web design – If your website has been functional circa 2000 and never been updated, you will have an impossible SEO task ahead of you. Work on your website by making it look modern, user-friendly, and intuitive. Also important is to avoid stuffing your website with keywords in a nonsensical way.
Start with these 2 tasks and you will be discovered by Google’s algorithm, which will improve your Page Rank and allow you to enjoy visible increase in traffic.