March 16/23, 2015; Volume 28/Number 19
By John Weller
It’s official—Google is now penalizing websites that were built using duplicate or syndicated content. This move by Google is rumored to be the first of many such updates designed to force local business owners to provide continuous, 100% unique and relevant content about their businesses or jeopardize losing their website’s ranking on the search engine.
Websites like eBay, Amazon and Alibaba took huge hits when the update was released, which alerted users in the web world that Panda was not a creature to be taken lightly.
The floor covering industry has thousands of dealers who use micro-sites and websites that are primarily built with content being pushed out by one source or supplier. These sites have become a key target of the latest Google update and will become increasingly difficult to rank on the search engine, as much of the content is duplicated or syndicated. In other words, Google will no longer tolerate websites that publish someone else’s content. The days of launching a website without constantly updating it or having automated updates in place are gone and will lead to a sure loss in visibility for your site and ultimately a loss in sales.
Here are your options to counter Google Panda 4.0 and keep your website moving in the right direction, both now and in the future.
Remove all duplicate content
Make sure to remove all text or copy that is found on any website other than your own. This includes blogs that were copied and pasted from other sources to your site.
Remove poor quality content
Work on removing pages that get little traffic or views.
Block Google from indexing necessary duplicate or syndicated content
Your website developer should include a “no-index, no-follow” tag on any content that you believe is essential but is sourced from elsewhere. This content will not help your website’s ranking in any way but at least you won’t be penalized for it.
Remove automated blogs that are being used in the wrong way
If you’re importing an RSS feed and it appears as if it is your own unique content, you need to delete this immediately. Your website will be penalized by Google for using someone else’s content as your own.
Build a new website with all new content
For businesses that have not updated their websites in months, or even years, it is time to build a new site. Building a fresh website with new, unique content will solve all of the previously noted problems and will stimulate engagement. The website technology available in 2015 is drastically superior to what was being used just last year and makes it much easier for you to engage and convert today’s consumers into your own customers.
The good news is that Google has made it clear it likes websites with unique, high quality and relevant content. Companies that maintain their sites with updated, topical information will have a considerable advantage over those that don’t. Posting unique content is less expensive and less technical than most other search engine optimization (SEO) practices and can provide great results.
Today, the content on your website can make or break you. If you plan on keeping your website visible and using it to deliver new leads and customers, it’s time to talk with your website provider about a new ongoing content strategy.
John Weller Jr. is the vice president of marketing for FloorForce. For more information on how to create a professionally designed website, visit www.floorforce.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.