We’re delighted to introduce our guest blogger, Krisca Te. See below for Krisca’s guest post:
If you’re a webmaster or a blogger, then at some point you’ve been through the dilemma of ensuring that you maintain a good balance between content quality and quantity. You do everything you can to come up with posts that are both numerous and helpful enough to keep your readership and boost your sales.
Things just got a lot tougher with the introduction of Google’s new algorithm launched two months ago. First called the Farmer Update but officially known as Google Panda, this all-new algorithm allowed Google to just drop irrelevant, untrustworthy sites from its page ranks so that users are directed to only the best of the best websites where they can find reliable information.
Farms are not for words
The easiest targets for Panda were the websites that featured repetitive, low-quality, inaccurate content—otherwise known as content farms. While there is no dictionary definition for a content farm yet, we all know what it looks and reads like. They are the websites that have low-grade posts filled with incredibly high-keyword-density rates. Because of the overemphasis on keyword optimization, sometimes the sentences don’t make any sense, or you don’t really get much of anything after reading the entire post.
Content farms are usually designed to generate money through leads and advertisements, so you can count on them having high production rates, with up to hundreds or thousands of articles being posted every month.
It’s not that they are intentionally crafted to be low quality, but since the webmasters are more concerned about quantity (in terms of both the frequency of posting and frequency of keywords used), the articles tend to be just rehashed from more authoritative and better-quality blogs. Other content farms also feature spun articles, so readers are fed different versions of the same article over and over again.
It’s obvious that the majority of websites that took a real beating with Google’s Panda were the content farms, but some pretty good article submission sites were also affected. Wisegeek.com and Ezinearticles.com were the top two sites whose site traffic and page ranking fell phenomenally, but that doesn’t mean that all the other websites are spared from Google Panda’s very exacting standards.
After all, your website’s continued success depends on how you strategize to make sure that Google keeps recommending your page even with the new algorithm in place.
You might feel confident with your website because you know for a fact that you’re not a content farm. You post only great articles on your website, and you strive to maintain the balance between quantity and quality. That’s all good—but then Google Panda wasn’t mean to stave off only the content farms from its page ranks.
Still at risk
With the new algorithm, Google actually raised the bar on what makes a website good and therefore worthy of being referred by Google. Basically, what Google is aiming to do is to maintain its hold on the online market as the best search engine, so they developed stricter standards for website quality. The basic ingredients are:
- Information content or usefulness
- Proper grammar
If you have all five factors down pat, then you can count on not being dropped from the rolls and categorized as a low-quality site (if not a content farm) by Google. You can forget about using software-generated content for now because Google thinks that nothing beats unique, human-generated content.
If you still want to stick to auto-generated content, however, make sure that you give it a human touch by changing phrases here and there and making it read as if it were handcrafted instead of machine spun. It’s certainly labor intensive, but the consequences are well worth the extra effort you put in to make sure that your articles pass Google’s scrutiny.
Check for duplicate content on your website—perhaps you’ve already talked about a topic a couple of times in the past so that Google no longer considers them as individual posts. Take time to tweak your content, and give them a makeover. You don’t need to rewrite everything; perhaps a little updating or some editing is all you need to freshen up the post.
Don’t forget to add tags to your posts, as well. Not only does this encourage your readers to check out other posts on your website and stay with you longer, but it also tells Google that you take the time to really craft good content. It’s a trust indicator that makes you look authoritative, as well as relevant in your niche.
About Krisca Te
Krisca C. Te is part of the team that manages https://www.australiancreditcards.com.au, a personal finance blog based in Sydney, Australia. Before she joined ACC, she was an Associate in Deutsche Bank Group under Market and Instruments Control Services.