Panda 4.1 – The Reaction So Far to Google’s Content-Focused Algorithm Update

Since Google started rolling out Panda 4.1, it’s quite clear that the phrase “content is king” has plenty of substance to it. It’s not only a case of clearing up dated content anymore but also enhancing web pages you might have reviewed in the past so that they slot neatly into the bracket of high quality, substantial, relevant content.

Panda Update

The importance of high quality content is only going to increase in the future, with many sites who have made changes witnessing significantly improved rankings as a result. Sites that still have noticeably thin content pages are losing their grip and have started to fall away in terms of search rankings, but this is to be expected as Google look to point searchers in the right direction with the utmost accuracy.

“Content is King”

So what exactly does a web page need to meet the requirements of Panda 4.1? Here’s a quick list of bullet points that outline Google’s demands:

  • Plenty of Content (we’re talking substantial amounts of high quality, informative and relevant text)

  • Videos

  • Images

  • Maps

  • Other enticing features

If you’ve made these changes already but heard about another site being penalised for something they knew nothing about, you might still share a few concerns regarding what Panda 4.1 actually looks to penalise. It turns out you’re not the only one, with Google’s John Mueller using the Google+ hangout to address numerous questions surrounding the formidable algorithm update.

Should We Get Rid Of Ageing Posts?

An intriguing question was put to Mr Mueller that focused on the existence of extremely old content on a site (content that is practically old enough to be archived).  Many blogs start out much weaker than they actually become, yet many site owners overlook the idea of getting rid of blog posts that are quite a few years old.

Google+ user Marie Hayes asked Mr Mueller “If a site has thousands of old blog posts that rarely get read, could this impact them negatively in the eyes of Panda? Should we be noindexing old blog posts?”

The reply was intriguing, as Mr Mueller seemed to suggest that there was a possibility a site could be penalised for keeping this kind of content on a site. Here’s what he had to say:

“This is, I guess, a tricky topic because to some extent, it makes sense to keep an old archive of things. But on the other hand, if you’re looking at these old blog posts and you say these are really low quality posts, then it might be worth cleaning that up. But in general, our quality algorithms do look at a site overall so we try to look at everything across the site. And if there are parts that aren’t really relevant, that are kind of older, and kind of there for a reason but not really the primary reason for your site, then that’s something we try to take into account as well.

So just because you have these old blog posts where maybe you were doing a news announcement from 2001 and that’s still on your site, that’s not something I’d necessarily noindex just to clean things up. But sometimes it might also be that these old blog posts are really low quality and kind of bad, then that’s something you would take action on. So just because they’re older, doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re good or bad in any specific way.”

Here’s the 55 minute Q&A that includes Mr Mueller addressing the issue of low quality content:

Content Will Always Be Important

It’s an interesting question with a complex answer that might have people wondering if they should start going through ancient, low quality blog posts. All we know is that content is and will continue to be a huge player when it comes to search ranking.