panda bearPandas are native bears of China and they are simply adorable.  As bears go they tend to be on the smaller side and typically have names like Mingaling, Yingyang  or SingaLing.

But now we have a new panda and it has a name altogether different – it is the Google Panda! And this panda seems to have created a lot of pandamonium and we who are internet marketers need to pay attention to this bear, which is not that little and definitely not at all cuddly!

But before I go into  panda territory  a small aside. I miss posting on this little blog of mine.  Been away for far too long.  The reason is sound as a good deal of my time is now devoted to marketing and growing my fledgling internet marketing business for the bricks and mortar market, something I would not have attempted were it not for the experience gained here.   A while back I made a commitment to Dave Doolin of Website in A Weekend that I would post here once a month … that was some time ago. What can I say –  I’m slow in keeping my commitments!

I find now that I am actually making online marketing money by providing services to other businesses I need to be top of my game all the time – well at least try, keeping top of game can be a full time job of and on itself.   The internet is nothing if not volatile , every day the RSS feed is filled with the newest, the latest, the best, the fastest, the dead in the water and the BIG DIFFERENCE and  the Big Difference today is the Google Panda.  I am not going to go into details of the Google Panda here – Aaron Wheeler does it brilliantly in this article.  What I want to talk about is that, yes, once again content trumps king.

That, ladies and gentlemen is music to my ears.  As most of us are aware Google’s algorithm content always was king but there appeared to be a system that was keyword supported and wouldn’t you know it but IMers quickly learned how to game that system (who’d have thunk!) so much so, that the quality of the content was often questionable if not down outright ignored.

It is no surprise that with each passing year Google gets smarter and smarter.  Now it has a completely different way of looking at content, not just is the keyword in the subject/title, is it in the first sentence of the article/page, is it used at least three times within the whole piece (dammit, I just got that down pat), BUT, does the article/post engage the reader?  Is it quality content?

For me the keyword thing has always been counter intuitive – somehow it seemed contrived and often  stilted and while over here, it did not seem to matter much, but once writing for paying clients it did. Often I came across content on other sites that was so obviously created simply for the SERPs but now Google will pay attention to the human eye and interest of the reader: how long did the visitor stay on the page?  Did the visitor go and visit other pages on the site?  Was the “like” button clicked?  Did they share the article with their friends … and so on.

So content rules.  We don’t know just how “smart” Panda is – not yet.  There seems to be reference to humor but then again, that would translate into engaging the audience, i.e., how long does the reader stay on the page/site and  not a big haha from the bot.  So attention grabbing titles may errrr…aaah… trump keywords?

Now don’t go overboard and throw out the importance of the keyword, I’m sure it still has some role to play but now your content can SingaLing along with MingaLing and squeeze some PandaGoogle juice for your site!

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