It’s been three months since Google’s Panda 4.2 update began to roll out, and content marketers are still trying to appease both Google and the reader in order to avoid penalties.
Panda 4.2’s emphasis on creating quality content has increased significantly since the latest update. However, industry comment is mixed as to whether pandering to Google or pampering the reader is the right path to take.
Pandering to Google
SEO is a natural element of any web based copy that strives for organic visibility, but in such a fast paced environment, the rulebook for what exactly is deemed effective for optimisation is one that is constantly being updating.
Using the same keyword over and over again hasn’t been recognised as a valid type of optimisation for a while. In fact, keyword stuffing will very likely now harm your page, as Google’s Panda update crawls the web for quality content, according to Pratik Cholakiya, writing on Search Engine Watch.
He recommends manipulating the content on the page by using synonymous terms and distributing them throughout the page title, header tags and body content. Producing longer tail variations of your main keyword will not only keep Google happy, but your readers, too.
Pampering the Reader
While it’s important to satisfy the technical side of SEO, user driven content can’t be ignored, according to Josh McCoy, also writing on Search Engine Watch. He says the age old questions regarding written content still need to be answered: what is the point of this content? Who are my audience? Where will it sit? You can write Pulitzer worthy content that still misses the mark if it is not relevant to your audience. If you’re pushing for social engagement but all your content serves to do is convert, then it’s back to the drawing board.
While the industry waits, and waits, for Panda 4.2 to finish its rollout, it appears that bringing together the need to satisfy Google and the user simultaneously is the most successful way of creating effective content.