Greenlight advice on how to avoid being bitten by the Google Panda

Search marketing and technology firm, Greenlight is warning companies to clean up their websites before Google’s new “Panda” algorithm goes global.

To avoid being bitten by Google’s new Panda, Greenlight has recommended businesses make sure their content is well written with optimised page titles, meta descriptions and URLs.

Sites should also contain as much multimedia as possible and give users clear options for where to go on the site if the first landing page does not provide the information they are looking for.

Adam Bunn, director of search engine optimisation at Greenlight, said: “Regardless of what Google is doing, these are all the basic requirements for almost any online business, which get at the heart of what Google algorithm updates, and indeed SEO, are all about.”

Along with these basic changes, Greenlight recommends some more advanced tweaks to cater for the new algorithm. According to their research, Panda is most likely to represent a combination of more emphasis on user click data and a revised document level classifier.

That means it analyses things like the length of time users spend on a site, what language the site is in, weather it is a blog, news report, or other type of content and how many users actually click through to the site.

In their analysis, Greenlight said Google might conclude that pages contain low value content if a significant proportion of users rarely click on the suspect page, click on a page and then click back right away, click back and revise their search or click through to the subject page, then leave the site entirely.

“We know Google has strongly considered using user click data in this way,” Bunn said. “It filed (and was granted), a patent called method and apparatus for classifying documents based on user inputs describing just this.

“It is likely Google only uses this data heavily in combination with other signals as user click data as a quality signal, is highly susceptible to manipulation. Hence it’s historically being such a minor part of search engine algorithms.”

Along with click data and document level classification, some people also worry that Google will use the information from their Chrome browser. This would give them a list of sites their users have blocked and could be used to help rank pages.

Bunn said this was possible but he believes Google has not had the time to incorporate this data into their algorithm. He does however think the company will eventually use this data in Google search. Either way, Greenlight is advising companies take a long look at their websites to make sure they are not relegated to the bottom of results by the new algorithm.

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