So if you have not already heard, Google released a huge update about 2 months ago called the Panda/Farmer update – and it has had the web-o-sphere in a frenzy. I am reading on so many forums and in the social media world that people are dropping like flies out of Google….and the site owners cannot understand why.
So first, if you have not heard of this update and you have a website, then you MUST start reading more internet related blogs and forums, hint hint. 🙂
So what is the Panda/Farmer update exactly?
Well as always, the algorithm that Google uses is top secret so unless you are friends with the big guys at Google we may never know all of the details of the ranking factors, but here is what we do know.
The Panda update dislikes duplicate content – if you have a site filled with content you “borrowed” from another site, then you could be in trouble.
Say you have a retail website filled with wonderful products! You take the images from the manufacturer you are getting the products from and then you also take their product description and copy and paste that into your site as well. Well imagine that you do that, and then your competitor does that and their competitor does that and so on and son on…you get the point. We are now filled with websites that have the same images and same content for that product. So Google gets a search for this specific product, who do you think will show up first? That is right, the manufacturer. And what they are starting to do is push back the sites that have the same content as the manufacturers site, because it is considered “duplicate” content and that is a no no!
So what the heck am I supposed to do you ask?
Easy, write your OWN content! It is really not that hard – it will not only help you possibly rank HIGHER than the manufacturer site, but may also help you sell more product. Consumers do not want to read about the “specifications” of a product, they want to read a story and read information on how this product will help them in their day to day life. Yes, this will take a while, but the payoff will be more than worth it.
Another great way to help “personalize” your product pages with content is to add user reviews!
So this is what the Panda is about. Although you may or may not have been hurt by it, the rewriting of your content is an effort worth doing either way!