The new Panda 4.0 – How Google evaluates your website

google-panda-update

The new Panda 4.0 – How Google evaluates your website

What is Panda?

Google Panda is an extension of Google’s algorithm that focuses on the quality of a web page’s content. It first appeared in February 2011 and has been updated several times since. Let’s see what are the conditions to satisfy this algorithm and achieve high ranking in the organic results of this search engine.
Rich content

In order for the content of a page that we want to appear on the first page of Google for competing keywords to be considered rich, it should be between 1,500 and 2,500 words. Here we are talking about plain text without calculating the html code.

Reasonably one will wonder if this large number of words can reduce the user experience because the page that will contain it will be large in size and the latter will need to scroll down enough to read it. However, this issue can be addressed using tab navigation on this page. This way all the text is on one page and it will be easy to read.

Original content

Google examines whether the content of a page is duplicated on either the same webpage or another. There are various techniques for this such as hashing or recording the pattern of words. In some cases, such as in e-shops this is a real problem because for example in the product descriptions text is used which is usually on the manufacturer’s website and which in most cases is the same in other e-shops that have the same products. This can be addressed by enriching the text with reviews made by our customers, by changing the original text and if possible the photos. After all, what you do not want in any case is the text of your page to be the same and unchanged on many other websites. If we are penalized for duplicate content then rewriting it may not be enough to lift the penalty. According to Matt Cutts, head of Google webspam, the new text should be of high quality and add value to the internet.

This process is called Google Authorship. In this way we show Google that we are the creators of this original content. Although this company has stated on August 28, 2014 that it will no longer process Google Authorship at the same time, it does not prevent us from continuing to use it.

It is also helpful to check at regular intervals if another website has copied your content without making any reference to yours. There are various tools for this task such as copyscape. Once you have located the copied website you contact its administrator either to put a backlink to your website or to remove the content you have created.

Above the fold

This is an important part of the Panda 4.0 algorithm. It concerns the content of the page that is visible to the user without scrolling down. Google already applies it to its ads where it charges only for those that appear on the user’s computer screen and calls it above the fold. So the question that must be asked is whether the visitors of our website can see something useful without having to do some scrolling. For example, if they want to Like your page, do they have to scroll down to find the relevant button?

So try to display the most important content of your page on the user’s screen by making the necessary changes such as reducing the title or logo, reducing the white box that encloses them and generally any other change needed. The most likely screen resolution that Google uses to see content that is above the fold is 1280 X 1000, so you can use this one to control your website. The above the fold is one of the many parameters that we must consider in matters of website design.

Unique photos

Photos are undoubtedly a form of content that everyone likes because it significantly improves the experience we have when we visit a website. If the photos you have on your website are original, ie they do not exist on other websites on the internet then you improve its rating in terms of the quality of its content. Google will know if you have used a photo from another website, even if you have renamed its file, or resized it, or even cropped it. You may be wondering how he does this. Google reverse image (select search by image), which is really good, is responsible for this.

The dimensions of a photo are also important. A great photo, of good quality, is liked by the users and therefore evaluated positively by Google. It is obvious, however, that original photographs are not always possible. For example, an e-shop usually uses the manufacturer’s photos. This issue could be partially addressed if we found original photos only for the product categories where optimization usually takes place and not for all products.

Interactive experience

A page with a video or a map that you can use to navigate definitely offers more opportunities to increase the degree of interaction with its users. The problem with this is that iframe is usually used to display it. The content in an iframe seems to belong to another page and not to the one that hosts it. It is therefore prudent to avoid using it where we can. For example, if you are hosting a video from Wistia there is the SEO embed type option which creates an embed object instead of using an iframe. On YouTube also after clicking on Share Embed select in the checkbox “use old embed code”.

Implied links

Through Panda, Google now takes into account the implied links or brand mentions. These are references to our brand on other websites, but without a backlink to our website. In practice, this means that we need to give more importance to our online public relations in order to secure references for our brand on other websites and to promote our website more effectively.

HTTPS / SSL

On August 6, 2014, Google announced that it would give a small 1% lead to websites that use the HTTPS communication protocol because in this way it wants to contribute to the creation of a safer internet. However, caution is needed in switching from HTTP to HTTPS, Google announces how this can be done safely so as not to affect a site’s ranking in its organic results are expected in the near future.

Appearance on mobile devices

More and more users are using their smartphones or tables to browse the internet. If your website is not optimized for them then the user experience when they visit it through them will be low as well as the Panda rating. This rating will be more important the higher the traffic to your website from mobile devices. The solution is to use responsive design or develop mobile apps.

Conclusion

Google with Panda tries to bring to the first places of the ranking the quality websites that have rich and original content. So try to create quality websites that will offer real value to their visitors.

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