Site Authority in Post-Panda Google
If you haven’t been keeping up with the world’s most widely used search engine, and I wouldn’t expect you to, Google has released a series of algorithm changes code-named the Panda or Farmer Update. This set of changes continues Google’s trend of trying to eliminate spammy auto-generated content that plagues much of the web from appearing in its search engine.
However, there seems to be a larger trend that I believe Google will continue to follow, a concept known as Site Authority. Site Authority is just as hard to define as Page Rank without wading into pseudo-doublespeak that pervades a lot of the SEO community. It is still very worthwhile to consider how Google might define a website’s Authority and what that means for that website’s rankings in the natural search results of Google.
How do you improve your site authority and boost your natural rankings in Google? Here’s my best guess:
Longer Article Length
There’s been a trend for many article writers to pump out 350 word garbage with 5 to 20% keyword density for the keyword they are trying to rank. Google wants to provide its searchers with comprehensive and well-written material, not short blurbs. Start making your long articles around 1000 words or more. The days of ranking with keyword stuffed, duplicated, or spun content are numbered. Short posts are still fine and natural (such as a short website update), but if you are trying to build your website’s authority, you’ve gotta have a few pages of longer content.
Backlinks from High Authority Sites
It’s no secret that websites linking back to your on website can greatly impact your search engine rankings. However, if you had to choose between a million low authority backlinks and significantly fewer backlinks from high page-rank sites, I would go with the higher page rank. Links from low authority sites are still important and natural-looking, but it is important that these backlinks are balanced with a good mixture of high PR sites. Even though .gov and .edu links carry less weight, they typically are associated with websites that are of higher authority anyway, and merit the effort in gaining them.
The announcement of Google Plus and the ease with which Facebook Fan Pages can gain rankings within Google’s search results suggests that social media will only play a larger role in the search giant’s future. Ignoring the other benefits of having your business represented on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, if you start preparing now, I feel that you will be reaping the benefits down the road when Google makes further changes to their algorithm.
These are just a few of the changes after Google’s Panda update that I have noticed and integrated in my SEO services. It’s very important to keep up to date with search engine trends, especially with Google, due to their overwhelming influence on how the world navigates the web. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question in the comments section below.