The Internet has literally been ablaze lately with domain owners in a sheer panic over the announcement that Google Panda will be rolling out with a new update in the days to come. Some of the changes mentioned in the blogosphere are updates to how backlinks are counted (and rated), the deletion of all duplicate content web-wide, and a number of other rumors about how the search engine giant will dish out punishments aimed at black hat SEO techniques. While the exact patch details won’t be available until after the launch, this is going to be a brutal upgrade for hundreds of thousands of websites.
Then again, does it really matter if Google raises the bar on what constitutes as a quality website? Here’s what these changes will mean to writers-
Quality Definitely Trumps Quantity
The largest impact that a lot of writers will feel from the latest Google Panda update is a changing trend from quantity to quality. Instead of domain owners focusing on posting hundreds (or thousands) of smaller, generic articles, Google is trying to force websites to deliver higher quality information that is actually useful to consumers. For url’s that have always focused on superior content, absolutely nothing will change after the upcoming patch.
For the rest of cyberspace, however, a lot of changes will have to be made to avoid some fairly harsh penalties in the search engines. Not only will poor content no longer rank under the latest Panda update, but it will actually invoke a penalty until those pages are upgraded or deleted. In other words, it will be harder than ever to obtain artificial rankings off keyword-stuffed pages, generic backlinks, and other questionable tactics.
Multimedia More Important than Ever
While only a few of the “SEO experts” have talked about multimedia and Google Panda, it only makes sense that if spam content and boring pages will be penalized, then well written, consumer-engaging pages are the way of the future. That means all of those alt-tag on photos, embedded videos, games, infographs, and more will all be big boosts for web pages and companies will be forced to deliver a higher standard than ever before.
As writers this section may not seem to apply to us, but it really does in numerous ways. In previous articles, I’ve said time and time again to tie these aspects into your article submissions in the first place. If you’ve adopted that policy and given 110% to employers, then your job security just got a whole lot sweeter. Either way though; it won’t be long before this is a standard practice on all websites so it’s time to adopt finding multimedia to accompany your articles now.
Content Will Always Be King
One thing I find particularly amusing is how so many authoritive sites are dreading this update, because if they are delivering great quality then they have absolutely nothing to worry about. Search engines have been abused for far too long by questionable SEO tactics so if anything, Google is doing both you and I a massive favor. The website with the best content or most information should rank first every time; that’s how it was designed in the 1980’s and that’s how it should be today.
Even though a lot will change after the Google Panda update rolls out later this week, very little of that will affect writers who focus on bringing relevant, engaging content to their audiences. If anything, it will place us in higher demand because every update eliminates a few more loopholes in the system.