I will start with a small background, but if you already knew all that, skip to why I think Google Panda is great news for marketing and also for consumers, like you & me.
Google Panda 4.0 Background (skip)
Today, Newscred had an interesting post on how companies much rather follow user behaviour and the fact that:
Marketers shouldn’t be tweaking their content for Google, Bing or any other search platform. Instead, brands should be customizing content based on consumer behavior across multiple platforms and technologies.
And I agree. And I know that Google makes companies dance around to its tunes with all these new updates. I am also aware that Google’s revenues come of advertising- almost 95% in fact- consistently over years. Yet, even while being the Big Brother of the Internet, in my opinion, Google Panda is a blessing. I do not want to sound unnecessarily “nerdy” but here is what it means:
- Puts emphasis on the date of a content (the fresher, the better)
- Lessens the value of PageRank
- Rewards pages that are easy to load
- Prioritizes original, trusted content (for this, Google uses human input to discern)
- Values quality, not volume
Reasons: why Google Panda is great news for marketing and consumers
(experiences from Germany & India where I have worked : See Blogging and associated back-link marketing in India)
¶ Google Panda forces professional bloggers & sites to focus on content quality
- It began in 2010 largely when a flurry of Bloggers decided to launch themselves on the World Wide Web. These were full of “lifestyle” and fashion bloggers with tons of amateur photos, multiple links connecting them to others in the tribe. And in general just meh. And there’s no reason for me to be the self-appointed judge of anyone’s quality, but it was weird that a bunch of back-links, spammy hashtags and irrelevant headlines to catch attention should mean greater organic visibility. That’s just devaluing someone else’s stronger effort (not to say building backlinks wasn’t an effort).
- And brands/ marketing companies fell in love with these cheap gimmicks. Their page ranks were higher, sponsorships started without even at times bloggers (and companies) not finding it important to mention that the posts were being paid for. Taking authenticity and credibility for a ride (literally)
- I interacted with plenty bloggers and sites in the meantime for real sponsorships and usually these were met with unprofessional behaviour purely because someone else was paying more, or that they could afford to, backed by a high page rank.
- There are tons of sites (I do not need to enlist them) which contain ten thousand links and no real content. They charge massive amounts to “feature” brands and it has also been a part of a brand’s agenda to be featured with these link houses (everyone would pretend how white it is and that everyone else is doing it).
- Quality means: Relevant, contextual, thought out content. Not a bunch of keywords someone researched on and repeated with a density of 6% but genuine organic valuable content. That, which can be read.
¶ Google Panda forces marketing professionals to “think” and go beyond mediocrity
- I have never understood how in these times, marketing professionals can avoid being storytellers or writers. When someone tells me they are not interesting in writing it baffles me. This is not to say that everyone needs to have the same talent with respect to expression- there are professionals for that, but it is unbelievable that there are people without any interest in the field itself.
- Marketing of today == authentic storytelling, emotional connections and engagement. And it is not faff. Especially when you take the position of a consumer, what do you engage with? It is usually quality value no matter what the product is.
- Unfortunately I met way too many marketing professionals over the years who do not seem to get this, or understand “organic” when they are not consumers themselves.
- Panda forces them to step up their game
- Mediocrity == Reaching out to wannabe bloggers & site owners begging for links without investing in long-term value creation, or even not seeing a need for it. Not thinking organic.
¶ Google Panda will make consumer search and Internet experiences enriched
- The reason for my belief is the points I mentioned above. Everyone now who is creating content needs to think of quality
- Distributors including big PR firms have also been penalized and are forced to do something about controlling spam
- Search results will not be dominated by people writing junk with keywords & links, but genuine high quality content (what a wonderful dream that is!)
The message seems to be improving our ecosystem in all directions, even if enforced by the know-it-all Google, what’s not to like?