Google's most recent algorithm updates, Panda and Penguin, have caused many Websites to lose search visibility. Panda and Penguin both penalize Websites that have characteristics of low quality Websites. Websites could receive the "low quality" rating because of many different factors:
- Too many ads on the page
- Substandard content that is duplicate to content on other Websites
- Spammy link profiles
- Over search optimization
Google's algorithms continue to be tailored with the user experience in mind. The ultimate search goal that search engines strive for is to continually provide the most accurate information to searchers. If you lost search rankings, what must you focus on so your Website is not deemed "low quality" by Google?
How does Google determine what a good, quality Website is?
Below are some of the factors Google analyzes when determining a Website's value:
- Trust: Would users have enough confidence in your Website to provide you with personal information such as credit card info? Would searchers believe the information shared on the Website?
- Ads: How many ads are on the Website? Is it excessive, especially above the fold?
- Quality Content: Does the content provide value or is it lacking true usefulness? Does it seem redundant to other articles across the Web?
- Errors: Are there spelling or grammatical errors? Are there broken images or links on the Website?
- Social: Would a searcher bookmark or share the content? Would a searcher refer friends to the Website?
- Links: Is the Website linking to unrelated or spam Websites? Are there a large amount of spam Websites linking to this Website?
- Updates: Does the Website appear to be regularly updated with new information, insight, etc., or is it stagnant?
These are just a few of the pieces involved within Google's algorithm and the recent Panda and Penguin updates. Overall the user needs to be the focus of your Website in order to be successful on the search engines. How do you want your customers to feel about your Website? Would you trust your Website? What can you do to improve your Website while focusing on these factors of Google's latest major algorithm updates?