Never Miss a Beat - Get Updates Direct to Your Inbox
More Than Black & White: Panda 4.0 CAN Affect Your Business Value
By Quiet Light
When you make a list of the factors that can affect the value of your online business, what comes to mind?
Profitability? Market trends? Revenue streams? All of these factors are critical to establishing a fair value for your business. But one you may be overlooking is the quality of the content on your site.
High-quality content is important, and even a profitable and well-established business can set itself up for disaster with thin, low-quality content.
High-Quality Content Matters More Than Ever
Why is high-quality content suddenly so important? The truth is, it’s always been important—not only because useful, relevant, and interesting content is preferred by human readers, but because high-quality content is also important to search engines. This is particularly true in the wake of Google’s latest launch of their Panda update (Panda 4.0).
As a business owner, you probably spend more time focused on marketing, development, and customer service than you do brushing up on your search engine optimization (SEO). But that doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore the very real impact of Google’s algorithm updates on your site’s search engine rankings.
If your site isn’t ready to meet the demands of Panda and other updates, it could suffer a precipitous drop in traffic and search engine performance that could hurt your revenue, damaging the perceived—and actual—value of your business.
A preventative approach is important for any business owner, because getting hit by one of Google’s algorithm updates can negatively impact your income—or delay a sale—for weeks or even months as you work to recover.
When Pandas Attack
Panda 4.0 is the latest edition of an algorithm update Google originally released in 2011 to combat content farms and other sites with high ad-to-content ratios or super-thin (read as: low-quality, low-relevance, spammy) content. The latest iteration of this update is designed to emphasize the importance of content that’s not only high in quality, but original and relevant.
So what constitutes “high-quality content”? Web-based content optimized for both humans and search engines is:
- Original: Duplicating content (either your own or from other sources) found elsewhere can lead to a drop in search engine ranking, as Google (and other search engines) cannot distinguish between the multiple versions for purposes of ranking, authority, etc., without a concerted effort on your part.
- Fresh: While evergreen content remains an important part of any successful content strategy, if your site has a blog, make sure it is regularly updated with useful and valuable content to avoid running afoul of Panda.
- Human-friendly: The days of simply stuffing your content full of keywords to “game the system” are long gone, but the latest Panda update underscores the importance of organic, well written content.
- Relevant: Regardless of your market niche, the content on your site should be relevant to your audience’s interests.
If your site is already designed with these considerations in mind, you’re most likely ready to weather the current update to Panda, and in a good position to meet any changes that might be coming down the pike. This, in turn, gives you a much better chance of maintaining the organic traffic and rankings that will help your business perform well, and ultimately lead to a better valuation if and when you decide to sell.
Protecting and Enhancing Your Website’s Value
You’ve got a full plate as a business owner, and trying to master SEO in your “free time” probably isn’t in the cards. But by developing a basic understanding of how updates to Google’s algorithms have the potential to affect your site’s performance, ranking, and profitability, you can help minimize or even prevent potential ranking losses, and make sure your Web-based business is a winner for you, your audience, and potential buyers.
Has your business been affected by Panda, for better or worse? Let us know in the comments!