How the Google Panda Release has Affected Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Marketing has become an essential form of promotion for virtually any business.
Search Google for Dallas wedding photographer and you’ll get something like two million results… obviously, the handful of wedding photographers who appear on the first page of search results have a huge competitive business advantage! In order to get onto the first page, many businesses today invest in search engine marketing services.
So when there is a change that has a major affect on search results, it’s important news.
Search engines, including Google, make frequent changes in their algorithms. But in April of 2011, Google released an update called Panda (also called the Farmer Release) that fundamentally changed the landscape for Internet marketing.
The goal of the Panda release was to weed out “junk” sites… sites with poor content, and duplicate content, that exist mostly to make money from ads.
But the release has also had a major indirect affect on the process of Internet marketing.
Getting Good Placement in Search Results
There are two basic requirements to get good placement in search results: good, relevant content, and links to your site.
The requirement for good content, appropriately encoded on your web pages, is easy to understand. However, on any given topic, there are millions of pages with good content.
So to determine which pages get the best placement in search results, search engines rely on links to the page. Pages with many incoming links are regarded as more important, better sites than pages with fewer links to them.
Getting Links to Your Site – the Old Way
One of the main goals of Internet marketing is acquiring those links for the client’s site. There are many ways to do this, but there are two methods that have become very popular over the years:
Article Syndication – Internet marketers write relevant articles that are posted on article syndication sites. Other websites, looking for content, are free to use these syndicated articles, provided they give a link back to the client’s website.
Internet Press Releases – Online press releases are sent to many legitimate news outlets (but rarely picked up). More importantly, for Internet marketing purposes, the press releases, which include links to the client site, are picked up and used on other websites.
Unfortunately for Internet marketers, the type of sites that use syndicated content and pick up online press releases are precisely the type of sites that the Panda release is intended to weed out. Google now gives no weight to pages that simply pick up and re-use duplicate content… so the links from these pages now have no value.
Getting Links to Your Site – the New Way
With the demise of the “easy” ways of getting links by pushing out duplicate content to low value sites, Internet marketers are now forced to focus on harder techniques: creating strong websites, and requesting links from other relevant, high-quality sites.
In addition, as low-quality sites and links decline in value, social network marketing is becoming more important. FaceBook “likes” and Google’s “+1″ program, as well as Twitter mentions and FaceBook pages, are increasingly important tools for promoting websites and gaining first-page positions in search results.
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