Google’s Panda 4.0 Causes Concern; Social Media Marketing Could Help Avoid Ranking Drops

February 17, 2015 by No Comments

The importance of search engine optimization (SEO) has exploded in recent years. Aimed at increasing a website’s search rankings using various techniques, SEO is a premier internet marketing strategy that attracts consumers to websites. 

Social media is a major focus for many SEO companies that service clients with accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets. This could be a key factor in driving more traffic to a website, as a recent report shows that social media is one of the best ways to do this.

In the last few years, Google has cracked down on poor quality websites that use excessive link building instead of organic, high quality content. They have released a series of updates that tweak their algorithm for ranking websites, with the latest one, “Panda 4.0,” affecting several big name sites, such as eBay. The new update cut down 80% of ebay’s search results, citing poor linking and low-quality paid search strategies. RetailMeNot, and were also hit hard by the new update, while GlassDoor and BuzzFeed benefited. 

With social media, one report shows that the likelihood of Google dropping a website’s ranking is minimized, because of the organic quality these outlets provide. In addition, Pew Research shows that almost three quarters of online adults are connected social networking sites, making it easier for companies to reach out to the public using these mediums. 

But Facebook has recently been criticized for pushing organic results further down a user’s news feed in place of paid advertisements. The reason for this is reportedly to increase revenue for paying customers that want to promote their company. As a result, updating content on a Facebook page may not take precedence over a paid advertisement that relates to user queries or interests. 

Even with these issues, experts say that a combination of SEO strategies and social media marketing could be the most effective tools to boosting a company’s online visibility. There are reportedly 500 billion social media users across the world, and appealing to these users could enhance a company’s marketing efforts. 

SEO experts also conclude that website owners affected by Panda 4.0 should re-evaluate their site with Google’s algorithm in mind, putting their personal feelings aside. They are advocating reducing “thin content,” or content that is irrelevant or duplicated, as well as reformulating an entire business model if every part of the site was downgraded by Google. 

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