The day before a recent SEO seminar, I found myself reworking my presentation yet again. This round of revisions was due to a change in Google’s search algorithm called Panda (unfortunately, not as cute and funny as it sounds). This release changed the game for a lot of SEO companies and search engine marketers. It took a while for us to figure out what it would mean for the future of SEO. When we did, it wasn’t pretty, but it was something many people saw coming a while ago.
Google’s previous algorithm favored large, long-standing, and content-heavy websites. This may seem rather logical, but that’s just where the problem lies. This scenario created a bit of a land rush for search term ranking. If a company had a site about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and had been writing and optimizing for years, then a new up-and-coming site with the latest information on peanut butter and jelly didn’t have a chance at ranking well on search engines. Even though the new site had the latest and greatest content, it wouldn’t come up in the top searches. So if you hadn’t been optimizing your website for many years, you would never have a shot at ranking highly for a new website.
For better or worse, Panda changed the game by favoring current information. Fresh content is now prized and new information is king. Great for new websites and bloggers, but challenging for the SEO-focused.There is no more “set it and forget it” approach to SEO. Fresh content is king, and it’s become a full-time, round the clock job to get to the top and stay there.