Google’s Panda Algorithm update is directly aimed at spammy sites and sites of low-quality. These sites have a number of characteristics which statistically become their signature.
Just because your site is not a spam site it does not mean you are in the clear. Google’s algorithm is based upon mathematics and it is aimed at spotting and weeding out the ones which add little or no value to the web and create a poor end-user experience for those who conduct searches. This means that in order to make sure you are not caught up in Google Panda’s automatic dragnet you need to be able to understand what the ‘signature’ marks Google is looking for are and work to avoid them.
The Panda algorithm checks many different aspects of a website and here we will focus on the ‘Content Signature’.
Content Signature of a Spam Site
The signature of a spam site’s content is created by a combination of most or all of the following aspects regarding content:
- Content which is not original
- Repetitive content
- Content which is ‘spinned’ and appears on different parts of the website
- 'Scraped' or plagiarised content
- Out-of-date content
- Short content up to 250 words
- Content which fails to keep its page visitors
- Content which repeats keywords without natural flow
- Content which repeats topics which are addressed more fully elsewhere on the web
- Content which has no internal linking strategy
Now that you know what the contents of a spam site look like you can start taking active steps to make sure that your website does not fall into this profile. If it does, because you have created content in a hurry or without much thought or because you have taken some content shortcuts you need to start rectifying them fast.
Google’s Panda update looks at poor quality pages on a website and then assesses the website as a whole which means that a few poor quality pages on your website have the ability to downgrade your entire website and force it to lose its Google ranking.
If you are not sure about the quality of the content on your website or suspect there is already a certain degree of duplication use Copyscape to double-check and then take action to correct it.
Use Google Analytics to check website traffic on a daily basis and be prepared to take action on pages which display high abandonment by the visitors who land upon them.
Until things settle down a little more and we can see just how effective the new Panda update actually is, it is best to integrate this checking in your daily routine of activities which form part of your operations for running your website.