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Google’s Panda 4.0 Update

If you are running a real estate website (or frankly any type of website), you should be aware of Google’s Panda 4.0 update that occurred on May 20th, 2014. If you are unsure what this means for your website or you are still trying to piece together what Pandas and Google have in common, then you may want to continue reading.

The Basics

Google is a search engine that people use by searching in key words to find relevant websites. A typical search can yield thousands of results over numerous pages. An algorithm is used to rank the sites by deciding which sites contain the best quality content and will be most useful for the one searching. If your website has employed good search engine optimization practices, then your website will have a good ranking on the search list and be more prone to being discovered by potential clients or “web surfers”.

Since its introduction, google has used complex algorithms to find the best search results. This algorithm has been slightly modified over the years, but in 2011 it was significantly changed with the first Panda update. This update affected approximately 12% of search results, leaving sites with poor content in the dust. Google Panda 4.0, is the most recent of major changes to Google’s algorithm and may have influence over your site.

google-Panda-Update4What is Panda 4.0?

Released in May of 2014, Panda 4.0 is a significant update to Google algorithm that will be more effective at sorting out sites with low quality content. If you are operating a site that provides an abundance of current and useful information, as well as practicing search engine optimization (SEO) techniques like blogging, then your site should be okay and may improve in search ranking.

How Do I Know if it Affects Me?

The effects of Panda’s update will be seen in the following weeks and can be observed using Google Analytics. If you are unfamiliar with Google Analytics, it is a free service that shows the amount of people visiting and using services on your site. If you notice a significant decrease in traffic on your site, this is a good indication that the updated algorithm does not like your content. If this is not addressed, your website will be harder to find on a Google search and you will see a drop in business opportunity.

How to Improve Your Site

To recover from Panda 4.0 or to ensure that your site ranks well on a search, the most important thing is to have an abundance of unique and quality content coming from your site. Another effective approach is to frequently post quality blogs that link back to your main site. This helps expand your data, market your website, and keeps information current. All of these are important ingredients that Panda 4.0 likes to see. In worst case scenarios, you may need to completely remove your website and start from scratch. If you struggle with seeing improvement to site traffic, there are many SEO companies that can provide professional help to improve traffic to your site.

About Sean Matyja

Sean Matyja is an Associate Broker with Summit Sotheby's International Realty in Park City, Utah. Sean specializes in buying and selling luxury homes in Park City and Deer Valley. Sean currently serves as the chairperson on the Park City Board of Realtors' Marketing Committee, and serves on the Park City Board of Realtors' Statistics Committee.

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