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Google Panda – Has your hotel been affected?

Has Google Panda affected your website performance?

Over the last 6 months Google has rolled out a series of Panda updates to improve the quality of its search results. Google rolled out Panda according to the schedule below:

  • Panda Update 1.0: Feb. 24, 2011
  • Panda Update 2.0: April 11, 2011 (about 7 weeks later)
  • Panda Update 2.1: May 10, 2011 (about  4 weeks later)
  • Panda Update 2.2: June 16, 2011 (about 5 weeks later)
  • Panda Update 2.3: July 23, 2011 (about 5 weeks later – The 2.1 to 2.3 dates are approximate.)

What is the aim of the Panda update? Panda is aimed at low quality thin content sites. Sites that provide low quality content, often with different pages devoted many variations of certain topic. This low quality sites are also identified by their large number of empty pages and a page layout with a high ratio of paid ads to unique content. Panda is not a page specific penalty but rather a site wide penalty. So if a number of pages on a site are low quality, this can affect the whole domain.

How can a hotel determine if it has been penalized by the Panda updates? Google provided an extensive list of questions to help webmasters determine possible low quality issues.http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2011/05/more-guidance-on-building-high-quality.html

Let us use a very well know London Hotel, the Dorchester(http://www.thedorchester.com/)  specifically a more article type page such as http://www.thedorchester.com/london

  1. Would you trust the information presented in this article?Yes
  2. Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature? The page seems to have been written by an expert as it demonstrates intimate knowledge with the subject.
  3. Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations? No. Some content seems to have been shared between http://www.thedorchester.com/london and http://www.45parklane.com/London. This content would do well to be replaced with completely unique information.
  4. Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site? Yes, guests do it every time they book.
  5. Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors? No, all spelling, grammar and factual information is correct.
  6. 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? Topic is driven by potential guest interest in their holiday destination.
  7. Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis? Excellent source of original information.
  8. Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results? Page content and imagery is of a very high quality.
  9. How much quality control is done on content? Quality is excellent.
  10. Does the article describe both sides of a story? No as it is a commercial website but that should not be a negative signal in this case.
  11. Is the site a recognized authority on its topic? Yes, The Dorchester is one of the most well know London Hotels.
  12. 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? No.
  13. Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced? Well edited, good attention to detail.
  14. For a health related query, would you trust information from this site? N/A
  15. Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name? Yes.
  16. Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic? Yes.
  17. Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious? N/A
  18. Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend? Yes.
  19. Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content? No.
  20. Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book? Yes.
  21. Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics? No. While some pages do not contain large amounts of text, the text is unique and of a high quality.
  22. Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail? Great attention to detail.
  23. Would users complain when they see pages from this site? No.

Thus we can see that for a hotel such as The Dorchester, Google’s Panda update should not be a worry and the site should not carry any penalty in the search results.