What The Google Panda Update Taught Us About SEO Copywriting

When Google unleashed its newest and smartest Panda (Farmer) algorithm two months ago, webmasters all over the world scrambled to revamp their websites and to exert extra effort in coming up with their content. Having a flashy website design, an efficient backlink system and soaring keyword densities are no longer enough to give you an edge your competitors in the field. Quality has become the name of the game, as it should be from the very start.

Should You Bother With SEO Copywriting After Google’s Panda (Farmer) Update?

Google Panda has forced webmasters to raise the bar on what makes a “good website”. Whereas before you can get away with articles stuffed with relevant keywords in almost every sentence, you can now expect that Google will penalize your website for being spammy and irrelevant to web users. That means being dropped from the page ranks and very little site traffic to go on.

To maintain its status as the number one search engine, Google has to ensure that it refers users only to the best websites in the online world. And to be a best website, you need to feature useful, informative and unique content all the time. But has Google Panda really made search engine optimization tricks a thing of the past?

The Language Barrier

Whatever else you might say about Google, one thing remains for sure—it is and will always be a piece of software. Certainly it’s intelligent, fast and difficult to deceive, but a program can only do so much. It cannot accurately distinguish between software- and human- generated content any more than the other search engines in the market today.

That’s good news for webmasters who use spun content and are afraid that they will have to go back to manual article writing in order to fill their daily quota of posts. Google is looking for quality, and whether or not it’s crafted by machine or human hands is beside the point. As long as the article is useful, relevant, informative and unique, it will rank in Google’s search listings and you can count on good site traffic in the long run.

After all, a good website doesn’t mean that it has to be 100% made by human writers. Spinning programs are a great help for webmasters who run different related websites at the same time, cutting their production time and costs in half. A good website is something that dishes out the kind of information that users want and need, one that they would visit frequently, recommend to other people and share in their social networks without being told to do so.

Good or Bad Content?

Google Panda cannot accurately distinguish spun from manually-written content, but even people can’t as well. However, with Google Panda’s more stringent rules, you have to be able to come up with really sensible and well-constructed spun articles in order to rank. Generating several spun articles and blindly posting them on your site without so much as a moment of proofreading in between can spell trouble for your page rankings.

The same is true for human-generated articles, although there is an underlying assumption that people don’t make the mistakes that machines do. Of course, that’s just a patent lie because people do write sentences with wrong grammar, bad style and incorrect punctuation. A poorly-written manual article will rank just about as high as a nonsensical spun article in Google’s listing.

At this point, SEO copywriting rules will help you more than any other spinning software or grammar book because it’s the only way to ensure that the article you’re posting is actually something that Google will want to refer users to.

So What Should You Do?

SEO techniques keep pace with the changes in the algorithm of different search engines, but only one thing remains constant—quality. Google (or any other search engine for that matter) doesn’t care how many backlinks or posts you make in a day. What really matters most is whether or not you provide users with information that they can apply in everyday life.

Google Panda only has the words on your page to decide whether or not you’re a good website, so you better make sure that every word is used wisely. Maintaining fair levels of keyword density to increase your chances of your page being summoned forth when a search term is entered is still a good idea.

Google’s bottomline is that you should be writing to be useful to people, not to snag the attention of search engines. Prettifying your content to rank higher in page listings is good, but you have to remember that your website shall rise and fall on the basis of its content alone. If you provide real utility, your page rank will increase over time.

Guest Author: This is a guest article by Ally who is part of the team that manages Australian Credit Cards, a personal finance blog that provides personal finance tips based in Sydney, Australia. You can follow ACC on Twitter if you like to stay updated on their latest contents. Before joining ACC, Ally was a Media Planner with McCann Worldgroup Philippines, Inc., with award-winning executions, including the Levi’s 501 “Live Unbuttoned” global campaign.


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