One of the most significant aspects of Google’s Panda 2.2 update is the attention to quality, not just of links, but of web content. Today it is essential to make sure that the statistics gathered by Google about your website offer a positive tale to tell.
If visitors are bouncing straight off your site within seconds, this suggests that your content is not good, not relevant, not suitable or not provided in an easy to access format. If visitors are only looking at one page before they leave, then this may suggest that the rest of your site has little to offer.
But if you manage to get visitors to stay on your site long enough to really give a positive impression of what you have to offer, and you can encourage those visitors to browse through the rest of your site, and to use social bookmarking to recommend the site to others, then this will really have a very powerful effect in terms of search rankings thanks to the Panda 2.2 update.
But there’s a problem here. Because sadly, whilst web development has come on really well in many aspects, in others it has really created a big problem. The diagram below is a slightly tongue in cheek look at how web development has come on in the past ten years, but in fact there’s a strong element of truth in it, and I’m sure you can relate to it yourself.
Go back a few years and most websites were fairly simple affairs, with a strong banner, simple navigation structures and plenty of space for the content you needed. Adverts existed, as they have since almost the very beginning, but they were moderately discrete and didn’t really tend to impact on finding the information you were looking for.
Today however, with increasing amounts of website real estate dedicated to adverts, affiliate links, social media widgets and blog feeds, it is often the case that the real content becomes fragmented, hidden and both hard to find and hard to follow.
With the main ‘useful’ content often broken up by adverts, widgets, banners and across multiple pages it can be infuriating for visitors to find what they’re looking for. The risk of accidentally clicking an advert inadvertently and being sent flying off elsewhere unexpectedly is very real, and from both the point of view of bots and visitors, the site is a mess.
This is exactly the sort of website likely to find itself diving down to the bottom of the pile thanks to Panda 2.2. There’s no point stuffing web pages full of adverts and affiliate schemes if no one’s ever going to find the website because it doesn’t appear in the first 50 pages of search results. It’s vital that you take a good long hard look at your own web design, and ask yourself whether the information is immediately apparent, or whether it’s hidden, fragmented or confusing.
By streamlining your site so that there’s enough information on each page to hold people, and enough quality to encourage people to click on your internal links, then you’ll find your site standing a much better chance of being listed high up the search results. It’s essential that your website contains up to date, appealing, and regularly refreshed quality information. It’s no longer just about on-site optimisation and inbound links, but about the quality of your website itself.
Perhaps it’s time to go back ten or fifteen years and rediscover the simplicity of design as it was back then?
If you’d like help with generating up to date, relevant, informative quality content then why not drop us a line and let one of our professional writers to help put your website back on the map?