Why the online world is hungry for informative and cr
eative content right now.
A free report from Proof Perfect Online Engagement Division
Photo courtesy of folioglyphs.comProduct names, logos, brands, and other trademarks featured or referred to within this report are the property of their respective trademark holders. These trademark holders are not affiliated with Proof Perfect Pte Ltd, our products/services, or our website. They do not sponsor or endorse our materials.

If you're a skilled researcher and creative copywriter with a bit of net savvy, then Google Panda is your big cuddly black and white friend. Today, more than ever, Google is rewarding those companies that have their eye on the strategic search and social media landscape. Why is Panda so greedy? Well Panda has a huge appetite for quality and original con- tent. But be warned, Google's new Panda search algorithm comes clutching a carrot and a stick, or is that a banana and a bamboo cane? Get some great content on your site and Panda will reward you with a better page rank- ing on Google's search engine results. Engage in Black Hat activities to drive traffic to your site and you'll soon find out that not only are these tactics less effective than ever before, but that Panda will chew up your site and spit the remains right down to the bottom of the rankings. That's if you're not de-indexed completely, something that you really want to avoid.
A note of clArificAtion:
This is not a Google-sponsored report, but you'll see a couple of Google videos with presentations from Matt Cutts, head of webspam at Google. Do not become alarmed or despondent. If you want a new pair of spectacles you probably wouldn't go and see a podiatrist. If you want information on how search engines are rewarding fresh, original content, you go to the Gorilla in the sandpit, and, like it or not, Google's the super-sized simian in the search sandbox right now.
In order to understand why and how Google Panda is rewarding great original copy- writing, we need to enter our way back machine and have a look at the state of online content, SEO and link building only a few years ago.

Pre PAndA tom-foolery "You know where
Yup, only five years ago it was an Internet jungle out there.
you are? You're in Clawing your way to the top of the search engine ranking
the jungle baby. ecosystem was made possible by some dubious link building,
duplicate content, stuffing, spinning, cloaking and scraping.

You're gonna DIE!" So let's have a look at some dubious tactics that have been
-Guns ‘n Roses.
employed in the past to ‘optimise' Google search results.
1 Keyword stuffing
Old school and very black hat, keyword stuffing refers to the tactic of hiding masses of keywords, some completely unrelated to the content of the page you visit. Some of the more dubious tactics involved backgrounds the same colour as paragraphs of embedded text (font-matching) and almost invisible scroll boxes containing more of the same. These tactics are employed as a scattergun approach to elevating the web site in the results ranking of almost any vaguely related (or even unrelated) search.
Those guilty of keyword stuffing today will be unceremoniously ejected from the Panda-era Google ecosystem. By ejected we mean that your site will in all probability be removed from the search engine index – goodbye traffic.
Photo courtesy of

2 Adding unrelAted
Keywords to your site
Here's an interesting way of making your life more stressful. Try inserting a competitor's trademarked product names and unrelated keywords over and over on your site. You'll soon find that your Google rank sinks like a lead balloon and that you get a stern lawyers letter informing you of the penalties associated with copyright infringement. Life's too short.
3 title stAcKing
The kissing cousin to keyword stuffing, title stacking refers to the practice of inserting multiple titles as ‘<title>' tags. No one likes to read about "Pet Supplies from Your Neighbourhood Pet Supplies store that has real value for money pet supplies". Google certainly doesn't like it.
4 scrAPing
Scraping is a tactic that in- volves taking content from another source and using it on your own site. Now most peo- ple know that taking something that isn't yours and using it for personal gain is simply wrong. No matter how you name the English language, this is theft, plain and simple. Some website managers, and yes even SEO practitioners will justify this by attributing the con- tent to the original author. Some will even put a link in to the original content. There's a fine line here. Many content providers use content such as a quote from an authoritative source. The key is to always keep in mind that content needs to add value to the original source material. Sadly scraping is still alive and well.
Photo courtesy of, and Stockimages/

6 cloAKing
Cloaking is another tactic that will get you banned by Google faster than the average search engine Good website designers make sure that the site is efficiently catalogued by Google. The Googlebots cache or ignore a site based on some clever coding and this helps keep the world wide web an efficient source readily available information. There are those who design the website so that the webcrawlers see one thing, but visitors clicking on a results link get a nasty surprise. If you're looking for amusing pictures of cats and you land up on a site for cut- price Viagra you're not going to be happy (and that's the safe for work example), and neither is Google. Cloaked sites mess with the functionality of Google search results and there is probably no better way to raise the corporate hackles of Google.
5 coPyright & Attribution
Separate but related to scraping is using images or video that does not belong to you to pretty up your site and make it more attractive to both visitors and Googlebots. Google will reward great visual content, but be aware that you need to be sure of issues surrounding the copyright of the material that you're going to use on your site. Make 100% sure that you have the legal right to use the material you're going to post. Even images and video that are available under the Creative Commons umbrella may (in fact probably does) have certain restrictions on its use. A legal challenge by the owner of the material of a complaint to Google is not going to do your page ranking any good. The worst case scenario: you run the risk of being de-indexed completely. As with everything Google related, it pays to check and double check. When in doubt, a call to your legal team wouldn't hurt. If you're leaving design and content creation up to a third party, make sure that they are aware of the importance of copyright issues to your organisation. Remember, legal problems are going to result in one of your most important windows to the marketplace being shuttered. Your supplier may lose a client, but you run the risk of damage to your online presence and your corporate reputation.
Photo courtesy of imagerymajestic/ and Stuart Miles/ 7 sPinning
Spinning is as simple as it is owners and so called SEO experts take an original (hopefully) article and simply substitute words and phrases within the article with content that means either the same thing, or is similar enough to pass muster at first glance. These articles are then placed on the site, or sent out to a myriad websites that post content or even article directories. This approach is problematic on any number of levels. Firstly that submitter or content creator is not adding value to the web experience of the average user – a big red flag for Google. Secondly there are only so many times that an article can be spun before grammar and sentence structure go out of the window and you end up with the broken telephone syndrome and something that just doesn't read right. The Google Panda algorithm will spot these articles, gather the associated links, take them round to the back of the barn and shoot them in the head. Result: the wrath of Google, shattered search rankings and tears before bedtime.
Everyone has access to a list of synonyms. In the case of Google Panda, this list can be as dangerous as a loaded gun. Don't pull the trigger by spinning.
Watch Google's Matt Cutts on unique page content:
8 duPlicAte
your site
Certain spam sites up the page view count by hosting duplicate content on multiple sites. Google will punish these types of sites by penalising their page ranking search results. So if you're thinking about cutting and pasting content, making a few cosmetic changes, reordering paragraphs, or changing headers to fool Google, there is a simple piece of advice that the Proof Perfect folks have for you; don't. The new Google algorithms and Googlebots will find the content, and the company will punish this behaviour. Duplicate content is something that Google is looking at very closely in the Panda era, and this new focus has far-reaching implications, not only for your page content, but also for how you build links to your pages.
Photo courtesy of and Sam UL/flickr the deAth of the
If you think that you can use software to rewrite content so that it can be posted to multiple sites, or be featured on multiple pages on your website, you'll be unsurprised to learn that the folks at Google really don't like this approach. In fact that's putting it really mildly. Having even the most advanced software rewrite your content is like a red flag to the Google bull. There is simply no substitute for the human touch when it comes to engaging content. Real copywriters have a tone and feeling for their audiences that simply cannot be imitated by even the most advanced software programs. Watch Google's Matt Cutts on Freshness:
Linkbuilding is the practice of basically making your site so great and filled with exceptional original content that other sites just want to link to it so that they can share in some of the glory. There's nothing wrong with linkbuilding per se. If you own a page that has content about great copywriting and another web or even social media page that talks about copywriting providing a link to your exceptional blog entries, then that would elevate your Google ranking. So far so good, but here's the kicker: the sites that link to your site need to have their own original content and add value to the web experience. Google is rewarding your site for being recognised by a jury of its peers.
What would happen if you simply purchased a whole bundle of links on sites that were both related to your field of expertise and completely unrelated? Well that huge amount of links would send your search ranking through the roof and is known as a link scheme. The desired result is that your organisation's web page shoots up the Google feeding chain. At least for a while. Until someone noticed that your site was appearing as the top search result for everything even vaguely related to your core business for a suspiciously long period of time. When that happens, like it did to JC Penney in the United States some time ago, you'd better hunker down wearing a virtual crash helmet, because Google does not like being gamed.
So, build links, they're great. Link to other sites that have relevant and exceptional content that your visitors might enjoy. Make your own content so great that other sites and individuals will link to it and share your insights with the world. Don't put on the SEO Black Hat and try to take a short cut to Internet fame, fortune and exceptional search ranking. There's always someone out there who will notice a suspicious trend and then, boy, oh boy, are you going to regret that dodgy Photo by Franz Steiner bewAre the Penguin
Google updates haven't just stopped with the Panda release in 2011. During 2012, the Penguin update made it even harder for Black Hat SEO practices to thrive on the Inter- net. Penguin further punishes the overuse of keywords, link schemes and that big issue, plagiarised content. In a nutshell Panda and the latest Penguin update reward great original con- tent and social media-friendly design. Panda and Penguin severely punish low-quality websites or those using dodgy techniques to either attract new visitors or climb the search engine rankings. • Duplicate content • Relevant content • Invisible text and stuffed keywords • Well-labeled images • Cloaking or re-directing the user to another • Relevant links and references • Complete sentences with good spelling and • Links from sites with non-relevant content • Unique and relevant page titles It pays to stay on top of the changes to the Google algorithms and what they mean for creating excellent sites filled with creative and sharable content. Google doesn't rest on its laurels when it comes to tightening up its contributions to keeping the Internet functional and useful.
Below you can see a summary of the impact that the latest Google releases have had: • Google wants to eliminate or reduce • Google wants to eliminate spam and bad linking practices.
• Rewards high-quality, original content • Seeks out and punishes exact keyword and usability.
to position links to external pages. Sees this as unnatural.
• Panda likes sites that are social, that is • Punishes links to low-quality sites.
with content that can be shared across the network of social sites.
• Panda does not like too much • Actively discourages excessive keyword advertising on a site.
use on pages.
• Panda punishes Black Hat SEO Photos courtesy of and and John de Rosier/ Here's Senior Vice President and Software Engineer at Google, Amit Singhal's
take on Panda (Amit Singhal heads up Google's core ranking team – he
makes the rules, so he knows what Google is looking for and the mindset of
"Panda was just one of roughly 500 search improvements we expect to roll out to search this year. In fact, since we launched Panda, we've rolled out over a dozen additional tweaks to our ranking algorithms." So keeping up with Google's releases and tweaking your website content is a bit of a moving target. One way of keeping the content fresh and making the most of Panda and Penguin is to pay attention to comments by Google itself on what makes a site exceptional.
Here's some content advice straight from Amit Singhal of Google on how to differentiate high- quality sites from low-quality sites.
Would you trust the information presented in this article?Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?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?Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?How much quality control is done on content?Does the article describe both sides of a story?Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?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?Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?Is this the sort of page you'd want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?Would users complain when they see pages from this site? how cAn you tAKe AdvAntAge of
google PAndA to KeeP AheAd of
Proof Perfect is a team of highly experienced copywriters who become advocates for our clients. So we're a bit biased towards the creation of high-quality content and articles. But happily this is exactly what Google Panda and the latest Penguin tweak are rewarding.
The folks at Proof Perfect have been working on websites and online content for so long now that optimisation (not keyword stuffing) has become second nature to them. Proof Perfect works with some of Southeast Asia's most respected companies, providing them with with content and strategic advice that brings their key messages to life. With the launch of Proof Perfect's Online Engagement division we've broadened our service offering to include strategic advice on how to make the most of the social media environment. It's a web world, and the social media channel is becoming increasingly important to our clients. So we've established a division dedicated to increasing your organisation's influence and its engagement with target audiences through providing quality content.
Our Online Engagement Division doesn't only provide content. Our services include measurement of client social media influence and engagement using some of the most advanced software available. We provide ongoing analysis and metrics that help our clients make their social media sites even more effective. For more information about how Proof Perfect can help you visit our social media platforms and leave a comment, or get in touch with us via our web page.
Want more articles and tips (or just a good read) on how great copywriting can help your company – visit our blog Photo courtesy of


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