All About Google’s Panda 3.3 Update

March 9, 2012

In 2011, Google announced a major change to its search algorithm called “The Panda Update,” which changes the world’s most trusted search engine.

There’s a lot of confusion as to why Google made these changes and how your business is now getting found online.

And recently Google announced the latest update, called Panda 3.3.

So how does Panda 3.3 impact your online marketing strategy?

The Panda Update helps Google’s crawlers better analyze your site to ensure that it returns search results that are truly valuable. Google measures your site’s value by content, user experience, site design, overall usefulness, etc.  Panda helps Google determine which sites are well-optimized so that search results give users exactly what they’re looking for.

Google is now better able to reward valuable sites with higher rankings and, thus, more web exposure. Conversely, sites that are spammy are taking a big hit in the ranking and are driving much less traffic.

Why Content Is So Important

Your website content is Google’s no. 1 way of determining if your site is valuable. To provide a great user experience, you need to provide lots of content that is unique, informative and updated regularly.

The best way to take advantage of Panda is to add a blog to your site and post often, daily if possible. If you aren’t posting content often, you won’t be seen as a valuable website. The fresher and more informative your content, the better, because this means that you’ll be pushed up in rankings and ultimately get more traffic.  You should also make sure you implement plenty of keywords. But don’t keyword stuff 1 or 2 keywords, use a variety of many keywords. This will appear more organic to Google.

Why Website Performance Matters

Thanks to Panda, Google can now measure how valuable a user views your site once they’ve landed there. By having a site with easy navigation, customers will spend more time on your website and there will be a higher conversion rate. If users spend three minutes or more on your site, Google will see your site as being more valuable. It will hurt how you’re found if there isn’t a high amount of time spent on your site. The amount of ads on your page also affects how long customers spend on your site, because if your ads are cluttered, it’ll turn them away. It isn’t just about time on site but also about page views, bounce rate, conversion, goals achieved, transactions, etc. What is the purpose of your site? Are users doing that?

Why Brand Engagement Matters

Thanks to Panda, Google can now measure value based on users’ overall engagement with your brand. This includes offsite engagement such as Google+, Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Groupon, Foursquare, etc. By really making the most out of your blog and social media accounts, you will get customers involved and talking about your company. This will help your business, because people like to feel connected to businesses and in-the-loop. You want constant helpful and interesting updates.

In order for Google’s Panda update to affect you positively, you need to make sure you’re optimizing your website, blog and social media accounts with fresh, valuable content. This will help how you’re found in search results and drive traffic to your website.

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