Holy Algorithms Batman

Are you working hard to eliminate the duplication and low quality content in your shop? Maybe you can even see a light at the end of the tunnel?


Googler Amit Singhal wrote a nice post on Google Webmaster Central regarding the Panda update, things you can do to improve your site and …

Some publishers have fixated on our prior Panda algorithm change, but Panda was just one of roughly 500 search improvements we expect to roll out to search this year.

This is where we get the “Holy Algorithms Batman” title for this post!

Okay, well having said that… Keep your shirt on, he also really did have some logical and easily to follow thoughts for surmising the quality issues on your website. I am going to post them verbatim for you lazy clickers to read.

  • Would you trust the information presented in this article?
  • Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
  • Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  • Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
  • Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
  • Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
  • Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
  • Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  • How much quality control is done on content?
  • Does the article describe both sides of a story?
  • Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
  • Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
  • Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  • For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
  • Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
  • Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  • Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  • Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  • Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  • Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
  • Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
  • Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
  • Would users complain when they see pages from this site?

I think you should read these questions and answer them honestly about your shop. Then send them off to 3 friends to do the same (because I know you are not exactly objective). Then use your savvy niche expertise in your field to generate a logical and sustained plan of attack from the answers.

I would choose to agree and disagree with the author’s suggestion to :

…rather than focusing on one particular algorithmic tweak, we encourage you to ask yourself the same sorts of questions we ask when looking at the big picture.

I agree that you must be moving towards an overall quality and a big picture, but I disagree that focusing and studying individual algorithm tweaks is somehow “ill advised”. Instead I suggest that lack of current knowledge and information regarding the search results leads to disastrous and  uninformed decisions. My own process is to study the changes, read all I can on them and then try to determine what the overall purpose and end result Google may be seeking. That way I can hopefully cover the initial change quickly and continue to grow in the correct direction overall.