In early June, Google announced that the newest Google Panda update, Panda 4.2, will be arriving in the coming months.
On July 22, 2015, Panda 4.2 finally dropped.
For businesses using search engine optimization as an inbound marketing strategy, this may mean big changes, and even a need for a reassessment of local SEO strategies.
What is Google Panda?
Google Panda refers to the changes made in Google’s search engine algorithm. These changes have been happening steadily since 2011. Panda 4.2 is Google’s most recent algorithm change, and is the 30th update made so far.
Why does Google Panda matter for my small business?
Almost 90% of online experiences begin with a Google search. According to research, over 66% of individuals never go past the first page of search results on Google. Local SEO services allow your business to rank in keywords relevant to your business. This allows your business to increase visibility with SEO.
This Panda update largely affects content, and 50% of experts say content is the most effective means of SEO. If your content doesn’t accommodate to Panda’s updates, your business may suffer in the long run.
What changes have been made?
According to The SEM Post the changes made with Panda 4.2 are considered only a refresh rather than an update. Instead, Panda 4.2 will work to reinforce algorithms and changes made in the last update, Panda 4.1.
Released in September of 2014, Panda 4.1 sought to penalize the ranking of keywords for sites with low quality content. In Panda 4.2 this scrutiny continues, but focuses on the use of keywords themselves. For example, if the keyword used is only used in the title of the content or appears in duplicate text, it is likely that the new update caused your keyword to no longer rank.
How will Panda 4.2 affect my keyword rankings?
In the last Panda rollout, many small and medium sized businesses saw an increase in their keyword rankings, and the change affected 3-5% of search engine queries. According to Search Engine Land, however, this current change will only affect 2-3% of search engine queries.
How can my businesses adjust our SEO services to meet the changes?
Above all, Google’s algorithm changes seek to increase effectiveness of local SEO services. This means that small to medium sized businesses will typically benefit from these changes.
However, the importance here lays in quality of content. For the most part, Panda 4.2 seeks to weed out “thin” content, and is looking to rank pages that have meaningful, and authoritative content. There are about 27 million pieces of content being churned out on a daily basis, and it’s up to you to make sure that yours gets noticed.
To give your content more authority, include meaningful info-graphics and images to accompany your blog posts, making it more user-friendly and appealing. Always avoid duplicate content and be sure to generate unique, and interesting content that your customers will want to read.