Best Practice in SEO looked more or less the same for a long time. You’d make sure you had a page targeting every keyword, enough pages and text to reach the long tail etc. That’s not good anymore. It’s time to sum up how the Panda changed Internet.
Google has always had troubles with the quality in the long tail. This is completely natural, keywords that get searched once a week aren’t that important and won’t get the focus. It’s also natural that since competition is tougher on the bigger keywords forcing the content there to have a higher quality in general. You just can’t rank for Poker with bad content, all your competitors spend a lot of time and money in producing content and they have the links to prove it. Ranking for “How to steal away a princess from a castle” is a totally different story though.
We all know how the Panda filtered out a lot of sites that had a really wide spectrum of target keywords. Going wide is not really an option anymore. Of course, if you have an authority site you can still do pretty much whatever you want, Google will do anything to please the big brands.
Go small or bust
The biggest problem that the Panda causes, in my opinion, is that you have to stay on topic. If you have a niche site, writing only about yellow flowers you’re safe but the moment you start adding blue flowers or yellow cars you’re one step closer to disaster. Of course nobody cares about saving the big content farms (like Knol) but in another way this is yet another way to making SEO a bit more stupid. It’s another benefit for small sites on exact match domains.
This means that you have two choices, either you have an IKEA-sized brand or you have a small site. There is no middle way here. Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit but the point is valid. The niche site has gotten yet another advantage. I’m not sure wether Google wanted this or not but the result is that you can’t rank Ezinearticles for Stealing Princess Away no matter how much you try, Stealingprincess.biz (or any other spammy tld for that matter) will do this without any problem though and it’s available for $10.
Recommended reading today
- Bill Slawski wrote an interesting piece on comment authority