Google Panda and how it revolutionized SEO
July 4, 2012
As of last year, Google changed the way search engine optimization (SEO) works. Google dominated in its market before websites like Bing came into the picture. The search algorithms for both companies were so simular that Google lost 30% of its market share.
Google’s old algorithm greatly relied on almost 200 different factors, including keyword-rich content and backlinks. If hundreds of high-ranked websites are all linking to a single webpage, Google would push that webpage to the top of its search results. Many developers took the quick approach and purchased backlinks from third party websites. Other “black hat” techniques were used to sneak to the top. Developers would add invisible text that only search engines can read, or building fake webpages filled with keywords on a topic that links to their website.
What makes Google Panda and Google Penguin so ingenious is the innovative approach it takes. Instead of relying on keywords and backlinks, it focuses on the users who visit the website. That being said, keywords and backlinks still have an influence – just not as much.
Google looks at many new factors to determine a website’s rank: How many visitors click on your website when it appears in the search results? How long are they on your website for? How many subpages do they visit? Do they visit your website and leave right away (bounce rate)? The use of Twitter, Facebook and Google+ has always been highly recommended, but now Google roams social networks to determine your popularity by how many users follow your website.
Google retrieves statistics from its users, even without the users having to do anything different.
In addition, Google used human testers to rate thousands of websites, focusing on factors like design, impact and loading speed. Google then compares the results to every webpage in their directory using the new Panda algorithm.
Because of this new change, your website’s content can once again focus on your visitors instead of search engines.