There never seems to be a month goes by now where there is not significant chat in the SEO world about a Google update and the week commencing the 22nd September 2014 is no exception to the rule with Google confirming they have released another update to their panda algorithm which will be the 27th release since Google created this new algorithm and most in the SEO world are calling it 4.1.
So with the new release still rolling out it is important to continue to monitor your rankings and traffic for the next week or so.
The early chat would indicate this is a softer version than the previous version but still has other elements attached to it which is seeing many sites hit and hit hard.
If the update has hit you or you have not seen a significant improvement in your rankings if you were hit with the last panda update then you need to start and plan your recovery. For those of you that were hit in the past if your site has not recovered then you also will have to plan because whatever you did in the past was either wrong or you did not do enough to improve your quality score.
There has been a lot of reports by webmasters saying they have received a thin content penalty in their webmaster tools and do not understand why as they feel their site has adequate content on it but sadly Google does not agree so you need to review it.
So the question for many is why thin content?
There is several things you should look at if you have had this message or seen your site drop which include but not limited to
- Is the content really 100% unique to your site?
- Has the content been spun?
- Are the images unique?
As I said this is not an exhaustive list but is where you should start and we will discuss each one in more detail.
- For the content to be unique you should do the following, first put some of the text in brackets and type into Google for example “the text on my site is 100% unique to my domain and no copies should be found while searching Google for it” if the results returned do not make your domain no1 in the rankings then someone else has been credited with the content being unique to them which is the no1 site in the rankings. To sort this you will have to rewrite your website and get it indexed quickly which you can do by simply putting the domain into your Google account and ask Google to search the site.
- Take 20 minutes and read the content of your site to make sure it flows correctly and all the grammar is correct and flows correctly. If not then the likely hood of you having spun content is high and you will have to rewrite your site.
- Many people do not think of images as been able to cause a problem but they do, so are the unique is the first question? Simply right click on the image and search Google for it and if not top and credited to your site first then it is duplicate content and you need to change it. Also look at the alt tags and ensure it is described correctly and they are not keyword stuffed as this can also lead to a penalty.
Start with these 3 things and fix them where necessary and you will improve your quality score and will also have started the recovery process although there will be more to do.