What is Search?

To really embrace the philosophy of SEO and how it affects SEO through the Panda update, I think it is first most important to take a step back and revisit the definition of the word “Search”.  Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “Search” as:

To look into or over carefully or thoroughly in an effort to find or discover something: as to examine in seeking something.
To look through or explore by inspecting possible places of concealment or investigating suspicious circumstances
To read thoroughly
To examine for articles concealed.
To uncover, find, or come to know by inquiry or scrutiny
To look or inquire carefully <searched for the papers>
To make painstaking investigation or examination
So Now We Ask…

What is a Search Engine’s Job?

Well based on the various definitions of the word “search” above, we find that it is the search engine’s job (The Robot or Spider – see logo top) to find, analyze, discover, organize, examine, assess, etc… the website or webpage content it finds and to determine how to best organize and display that content.  That is the job of the search engine.  Therefore embracing Google’s Panda update is merely understanding the core definition of the word search and understanding what a search engine’s job is.

A New SEO Philosophy.

Think about before search engines existed.  How did you find things?  How do you finds things today when you don’t have a search engine to rely on or if you find the search engine isn’t reliable.  You look around, ask questions, you ask friends, you ask experts, make phone calls, get referrals, look at ads, look at directories, look at catalogs, magazines, newspapers, TV, listen to radio, watch the news, and more…

YOU MAKE DECISIONS!  Then you try things out and see how it goes.  If after making these decisions and trying out the results of those decisions (Search, Find, and Display) you don’t get the expected or desired result, you begin the whole process again.  When you think about it everyone is a search engine and everyone understands search and SEO.  The problem is it was given a name and acronym and pinned to a revolutionary fast growing technology.  So fast, that people can’t even begin to consume all the available data and information that is out there circulating on a second-by-second basis.

So originally search engines did an extremely poor job of providing you with what you where actually looking for and understanding your needs and desires.  Therefore people got involved and called it Search Engine Optimization (SEO) because we were helping and directing the search engines to perform the actual definition of their entire existence and being.

And once again as with everything, there are always a few that want to take short cuts or abuse the system.  Take advantage and exploit weaknesses to their benefit aka Black Hat SEO.  These people made the job of searching even more difficult.

Well today search engines don’t need as much help and the Black Hat opportunist’s job is becoming increasingly more difficult.  Yes, they are still there and I imagine they will always be, but at some point they need to look into the mirror and say, “You know what?  It is actually easier to do SEO the correct way then to always try and find ways to cheat it.”

Anyway, fast forward to the Panda Update.

Embracing Google’s Panda Update

The Panda update is basically saying we are taking or shifting the powers of the SEO person.  But really what they are saying is use common sense.  Think about it this way, if you were building a website would you put text on the site that people couldn’t read?  No, that doesn’t make any sense, why would you do that?

It is paying attention to the content quality, grammar, spelling, etc…  It seems like I have experienced this before….  Oh right, in school.  So what is so weird about having to create a quality product?  What is so weird about making sure you write something new, original, worthwhile?  What is so wrong about having correct spelling and grammar?  If you ask me, you should have been doing this all the time and why do you even have a site if you do not intend to do that?  It is basically saying you need to have something of value to rank well.

What about Anchor Text changes?  Things like anchor text well normally if you weren’t creating your own links, then you wouldn’t have a problem.  People abusing anchor text to exploit or rank for a specific keyword.  If other people linked to you by choice, odds are you would never have to worry about the same keyword being exploited unless it was your URL or company name and Google already understands that.

There are many other updates and we will dig into those more later.  But for now, simply ask yourself does this make sense?  And if it doesn’t odds are that it will either hurt you today or sometime in the future.  This is also a good way to avoid surprise penalties when they make future updates.

Thanks for your time, Cappy.