A poll shows that fewer sites than expected saw their pages recover with the softer Panda algorithm, and their web content might be to blame.

In July, Google confirmed it had begun rolling out new versions of its Panda algorithm, refined iterations that were expected to help some sites recover from earlier penalties. However, it seems that less than 40 percent of webmasters have actually seen improvements in their content analytics to indicate they’d been forgiven by Google’s Panda, according to a Search Engine RoundTable poll. If marketers fall in the 51 percent that have not yet recovered from this algorithm, they might want to perform a quality check on their content.

Brafton recently covered advice from Google’s Search Engineer Matt Cutts, who said webmasters disappointed by their rankings should take a cold, hard look at their brand content to assess the value it offers visitors.

He posed questions, such as:

  • Is information on landing pages relevant to search terms that brought them to the site in the first place?
  • Is the content compelling, enjoyable to read and worth sharing with others?
  • Does it match the level of writing you’d expect to find in a magazine or book?

According to Cutts, the answer to all of these questions must be ‘yes’ if marketers expect their content to rise in SERPs.

It’s important to remember that Panda is no longer a rolling algorithm. Google integrated the ranking signal into its normal indexing process, which means websites’ custom content is regularly being checked against those standards. Based on data from the Search Engine RoundTable poll, the 18 percent of brands that fully recovered have recognized the significant role their content plays in SEO success, and companies that want to join these ranks must carefully consider the information and words they share online.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.