Preface: Since the writing of this post, Google’s Panda and Penguin updates have happened May 18th-19th.
A very hot topic in the blogging world right now is Google’s upcoming Panda and Penguin updates. Not sure what I am talking about? Web Pro News has a great post describing the upcoming changes.
Basically what it is boiling down to is that Google is going to crack down even stronger on DoFollow links, advertorials, and spam sites.
How will these updates affect my blog, and should I care?
To answer the question, it really is depends on what you use your blog for and how much of your traffic is dependent on Google.
If you blog:
– To promote your own product/service
– For fun and never want to monetize your site
You will not be affected by the updates. If anything, you may see an increase in pagerank because you will not have many DoFollow links and do not have paid content.
If you blog:
– To make money
– To promote companies and business and are paid to do so
– As a spam site
You might be affected by the upcoming updates. If you run a spam website most likely you will be.
What does being ‘affected’ even mean?
As you probably know, Google runs a very popular search engine. In order to shift through all the content on the internet they arrange search results by pagerank. The higher your pagerank, the more likely your content will show up when searched. For example if you search ‘best free spring fonts’, our post Best FREE Spring and Easter Fonts shows up as the first result on Google. If we had a lower pagerank, the spring font post may not have showed up on the first page at all.
After the next Panda and Penguin updates (announced late March 2013 but no confirmation date as to when they will happen) you may see a shift in your pagerank – it may go higher or lower.
*Insert panicky voice* What do I do? I do not want my pagerank to go down?
You really have two options:
1) Remove all advertorials and do follow links and hope for the best.
2) Do nothing different and hope for the best.
Here at TOTS we do not charge you to read our content. That means we need to make money in some other way. To make money we sell advertising space, premium listings in our business directory, advertorials, and sponsored blog posts. It is not realistic for us to remove all paid content and DoFollow links. We also took a look at our organic search engine traffic – which is minimal. Most of our traffic comes from social media referrals (in particular Pinterest). We will not be doing anything different. Do we want our pagerank to go down? Of course not, but Google is a major corporation and we cannot have it dictating how we run our business (this blog).
Now if most of your traffic comes from Google maybe you will want to change some of your posts/policies to better align with their algorithms.
The long and the short of it is; there is no right or wrong answer. You need to educate yourself and make the best decision for your business or blog.