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Google Search Engine Changes Have More Issues than Answers for Writers

Updated on February 9, 2018
smcopywrite profile image

There are times when writing about a subject is sharing an extreme amount of expertise and education. Too much is better than not enough.


These are changes which have affected nearly everyone on the web in one way or another.

Google’s algorithm, Panda I and II, updates hit countless article content sites rather hard. The internet giant advised less than 15% of websites noticed changes after implementation. There have been mixed reviews on how great the upgrade really has been for the average writer.

Nothing ever stays the same, most especially the web. It is a continuous entity which is always changing and evolving. Methods and processes are transformed into something better for both writers and readers. There is a need to adjust and modify outdated material in any field, writing included.

Why a change was performed

The company modified the scientific formula used when a reader seeks out data and info using the search engine. Results display more quality articles instead of dribble from content farms and scraped information. Conversions and reformat was performed in the hope nothing was loss or any real knowledge or expertise loss. The opposite was intended. A clean up sorely in need of being done.

These changes were an attempt to wipe out sites described as content mills. Did the roll out of create more issues than answers for writers? There are those who look at the before and after and choose the before as the best business sense based on individual experiences, business and other factors. For the most part, it made perfect sense, but getting there was not an easy road.

Two cycles for variations

A double cycle was needed. These were aptly named Panda I and Panda II. This was a clean up campaign with the largest focus on sites were a multitude of authors were published on the same site. Although this was were the similarities began. All sites are not alike.

A multitude of article content sites were hit harder than others when it came to the clean up activity. According to many that found their content on the out, it wasn’t a fair play. The details of the algorithm and information being used for the Panda updates are a Google search engine close kept secret.

The first cycle of new search engine optimization changes effected article content sites such as and HubPages. Many internet users were surprised that the site Ehow was only minimally effected by the first roll out of Google search engine optimization modifications. Internet users believed that the article content site Ehow was one of those article content sites that Google was speaking of when they wanted to level the playing field and remove keyword and SEO stuffing articles on the web that provided little if any useful information for search engine optimization results or search engine ranking skewed results.

The second cycle of the Panda roll out showed Ehow was a site that felt the brunt of the blow. Did Google rise to the occasion and realize they missed some of the things they were trying to clean up with their first Panda update? Reviewing sites before the roll out and sites after the roll out left more issues than answers for writers.

There are a couple of issues that have been identified with Google’s new search engine optimization algorithm that permits a lot of great quality articles to be penalized and many not so great articles or content to be ranked high in website search engine rankings in error. Search engine bots evaluate the content for the Google algorithm ranking mechanism which may be a major part of the concerns of internet users and freelance writers.

Search engine bots have identified video and loads of pictures along with ads as non-useful or poor quality information. Unfortunately, this material on a webpage will rank it lower than a webpage without a lot of monetization and other material according to Google’s algorithm, regardless of the article content. Terrific quality articles may be misidentified using this course of review for search engine ranking marketing evaluation.

Depending upon how you set up your page of content could determine if the bots will find your info useful or identified as a content mill or something similar and lower your search engine ranking. Therefore, the roll out is not really identifying quality content, but how the information is reflected on the page. This is important for a lot of article content sites and offers more issues than answers for writers.

Webpages for the site Ehow are created in a rather simple format. They have ads, but the article content runs uninterrupted down the center of the page which the search engine bots love. All Ehow pages are created identical which may account for why there was not a lot of information effected by the first Panda update. What changes were made to Panda II to identify Ehow articles and sort quality from non-quality information has not been released by Google.

Other sites such as HubPages allow users to create their own format of webpages. If a freelance writer submits an article or publication and selects an arrangement that the search engine bots identify through search engine optimization as low quality, the information is flagged or removed from web search engine ranking results. However, the same article or information could be configured differently and identified as quality content and remains in the search engine results as high quality content.

The same can be said for blogs or websites search engine ranking and their organization. You could have a great website, but your landing page is identified as monetized, poor quality and put in the column for content mills and you are ranked incorrectly as low quality which has more issues than answers for writers.

Another issue is identical information published in more than one location. There are many article content sites, such as Bukisa, which allows previously published content to be submitted for publication. How is the algorithm addressing these article content sites?

Scores of times Google ads are placed on the page and formatted after your article is published. The format and ad placement is determined by the article content site choices and not your own. Should you be penalized for your content because the search bots considered your article had too much monetization when you didn’t format the ads or the content information? Triond is an example of an article content site where they have numerous sites where your content could be published along with tons of ads and pics that you didn’t add and have no manual control over as a writer.

Google wanted to make certain when readers entered search terms the search engine ranking results displayed actual useful and informative subject matter. Some article content sites on the web had a lot of keyword and SEO stuffing to permit them higher ranks in search engine optimization results than where actually deserved. Google is advising they are actually leveling the playing field with their Panda I and II changes. Can a search engine bot actually identify quality content with the results shown so far?

Article content sites for many freelance writers have been a form of great residual income. You can have an article creating income for you over many months and sometimes years. If you have articles that have been removed, moved or even not reflected in search engine ranking results any longer you could actually be losing quite a bit of money over the long run. On one hand, some freelance writers may be pleasantly surprised that their page views have increased suddenly along with their income for content article writing sites which is one benefit that will not cause more issues than answers for writers.

There are a number of sites that have identified articles that may need to be revised by their writers and notified them of issues. This is great and provides freelance writers the opportunity to make changes to keep their quality content where it should be. Take search engine optimization techniques and tips and use them to improve this content. For those sites that haven’t identified content for their writers you may simply be out of luck.

Google is still tweaking their search engine optimization and page ranking process and hopefully they will achieve their intent of getting high quality content to search engine results and weeding out useless content. With the issues that have been identified there is still work to be done. However, as freelance writers we should still continue to produce quality content at all times regardless if we have more issues than answers with the Google search engine changes so far.

Has the change been good or bad for the average blogger and entrepreneur?

When discussing alterations or updates put in place by the landmark giant, writers are asking if the improvement is there? Has this really enhanced a writing career in more ways than one.

Old school folks are able to look at analytical data in large slices. There is an opportunity to see past performances of page views, visits and other discernible material. Answers are mixed for the most part.

Some individuals feels this has turned out wonderfully. It has been a conversion to a better overall system of putting info out there and getting readers to it when needed. Others disagree.

Simple explanation of how the numbers come together to discover what someone wants on the web. Find out how algorithms work.

© 2011 smcopywrite


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    • chinemeremz profile image

      chinemeremz 6 years ago

      As the panda keeps roaring and putting its claws on both poor and quality contents based on Google's latest algorithm, like you rightly pointed out many questions remain unanswered.

      Issues like the future of RSS Feeds, link building, back linking and social bookmarking and sharing.

      Many have argued on ads formatting and display, others have suggested the complete deletion of Amazon and eBay capsules on a site like Hubpages-and other sundry suggestions and counter suggestions.

      Whatever plays out in the days, months and years ahead as this issue continue to take prominence on the web's scheme of things, we have our fingers all crossed.

    • viking305 profile image

      L M Reid 6 years ago from Ireland

      Thanks for the quick reply. Yes I realise now what you mean. I have seen some hubs that are all photos and barely any text.

      Mine would be alright so because the photos are relevant and the hubs have 1000’s of words.

    • smcopywrite profile image

      smcopywrite 6 years ago from all over the web

      the pics portion is a catch twenty two. a lot of internet readers enjoy photos and wow pics will draw readers. however,there are some pieces of content that have more photos than quality content.

    • viking305 profile image

      L M Reid 6 years ago from Ireland

      Very interesting article. Are you sure that too many photos on a page is not good in Googles eyes? I have some hubs that have many photos on them. Maybe I will remove them on one or two hubs and see what happens

    • profile image

      Sueswan 6 years ago

      Very interesting and informative.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks for all of the information on this topic! I will be interested to see where this path continues as well.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      You've certainly cleared this Panda I & Panda II Google 'reinventing the search engine' for me. Useful, and, as you've described, misleading, too. It will be interesting to see where this ends up; with all the content along with the frustration of searching Google for "it" and coming up with thousands of items which are not "it," something needs to be done to filter and reflect reality w/out all the ridiculous tripe out there one has to wade through. Thank you for delving into the potential ups/downs/rights/wrongs and everything in between this dilemma.