What this means for PR professionals, brand journalists and other writers is that “rich, authentic material,” as Kennedy puts it, attracts the spiders and wins the day. The Moz Blog’s Josh Bachynski digs a little deeper into what he calls the “good content refrain” and provides specific tips on how to optimize your content for Panda 4.0.
While there are some geekier (and common-sense usability) tips like “ensure task completion,” many of the pointers boil down to what we learned in college—which makes sense, Bachynski notes, because Google is a company founded and run by academics. So on Bachynski’s “Do” list: use lots of references (and include links) and cite your sources. (Notice that Bachynski is credited throughout this post for his ideas.) Another important tip that we learned long before college: proofread. Panda doesn’t like spelling errors, typos or grammatical errors and your rankings will suffer if you don’t take the time to produce professional content.
Some of the tips on Bachynski’s “Don’t” list might take a little getting used to, especially if you’ve been publishing click bait for years or your site relies on ad revenue: don’t repeat keywords or publish content just for SEO, and don’t let your ads interfere with site usage. Yep Panda 4.0 is a bit of a purist—an ethicist, even. But that’s great news for good writers and anyone publishing content that actually deserves to be found, read, heard, digested and shared.
To read Bachynski’s longer (26-tip) list of Do’s and Don’ts, check out The Complete Google Leaked PANDA Do & Don’t LIST - 2011 to Present.