And the Winner of Panda 2.0 May 2013 is...Yelp!

Google SERP Toronto Dog Groomer May 2013

Website owners rely on search engines to gain readership. If you are a business owner or a service provider, this is especially true. There are a number of ways that website owners work to improve their page rank on major search engines, by adding new content to their web pages, for instance. However, it seems that Google tends to be favouring directories over legitimate service provider websites. Need proof? Check Google's search engine results.

We recently used Google to search for "Toronto Dog Groomer." Expecting to find dog groomers that work and service the Toronto area, we instead found that the Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page) was flooded with directories and Yelp pages. Yes, Yelp pages. In fact, the first five results for "Toronto Dog Groomer" listed a directory blog, a directory, and three Yelp pages. Can you believe it? Not one of the top five results listed on Google was a website for an actual Toronto Dog Groomer.

Google is becoming more slanted than ever against service provider websites. The truth is that the search engine results page has never looked so uneven towards service providers. Rather than focus on websites with content, they link to directories and popular review sites. This is occurring despite promises that Panda (Google's search results ranking algorithm) would improve the quality of search results. Instead, original content is being passed over for a few paragraphs of general information and a list of phone numbers. Google Panda 2.0 happened on May 22nd, 2013...and nothing seems to be changing.

So just what is Panda and how does it affect your business? Google Panda was created in order to lower the page ranking of what Google deemed low quality web pages. This was meant to ensure that websites of high quality were near the top of the search engine results. However, there have been a number of issues with this concept over the years - as seen from our recent "Toronto Dog Groomer" search. Rather than improving rankings for business or service websites, directories and social networking sites have seen an increase in their page ranks instead.

This is drastically affecting business and service websites. Even when people are looking for a service that you offer, it is more difficult than ever to make your page visible and easily accessible to interested readers. This can impact the traffic your website generates and can decrease your businesses online presence. Should Yelp pages rank above your service website? We don't think so.

In order to work around Google's unfair search engine results page, there are a couple of things to focus on. Start by being aware of what Google Panda is - and any updates to the algorithm. Next, focus on having newly updated and high quality content. Try to make sure that the content on your website is as informative as possible. Also, avoid using certain SEO techniques like overusing keywords or link stuffing your web page. By following these strategies, your website should avoid being penalized by Google Panda.

It's frustrating to know that Google's SERP page chooses to list Yelp pages over authentic service provider websites. When (or if) this will change remains to be seen. In the meantime, businesses must do everything in their power to work around these unfair results. Readers know that your service website provides more than a Yelp page...even if Google doesn't seem to think so.

If you are interested in learning more about Google Panda 2.0 or other SEO services, feel free to contact us at: (647) 477-2992. At CMS Buffet, we understand how to improve the visibility of your online business.

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