The search marketing world has been in a frenzy over Google’s recent ‘Panda’ update. The Panda release involved modifying some of the underlying mechanisms of Google’s search algorithm – the result has been a benefit to some websites and a hindrance to others. Google’s primary goal with the Panda release was to place less importance on ‘content farms’ that regularly produced unoriginal material.
One of the big benefits of Panda is that websites that publish plagiarized materials regularly should be taking a big hit.
In a perfect world, Google’s new update should seek out these nodes of duplicate content and drop them into the barren search result wastelands.
However, since Panda’s release, we’ve already seen quite a few complaints from websites that do produce original content that are also taking a hit in their organic rankings.
Although the exact science of how Google Panda is affecting websites is not so clear, it is straightforward in that instances of duplicate content are bad in every sense. Even if you are the original content creator, having your material ripped off by others could end up negatively affecting you.
So, as a online publisher, how can you ensure that you stay on Panda’s good side?
The first step is to ensure any content published on your website is indeed original. Many companies outsource freelance writers to compose articles for their websites. Although this is a productive SEO and content strategy, it can now have a negative effect on your website if a freelancer plagiarizes from another source. Scanning with plagiarism detection software prior to publishing any material on a website is always a smart move.
Another step to stay in Panda’s favor is to make sure that your original content isn’t getting plagiarized elsewhere.
Although in a perfect world this shouldn’t hurt your site’s ranking, it’s best not to take chances.
Plagiarism software should be able to scan the web for any instances of duplicate content out there. If you do find anything that is unauthorized, sending over a DMCA take down notice to the webmaster should usually get the job done. Not only will removing instances of duplicate content likely improve your site’s SEO ranking, but it will also prevent your content from being devalued through plagiarism.