Panda Slapping and Scraping at BlogWorld Expo LA

Shane Ketterman spoke at Blogworld Expo Los Angeles 2011. His topic: how he was slapped by a Panda for “scraping” (more or less). I knew nothing about Google’s mean Panda or scraping and was intrigued.

In a captivated room, I learned that earlier this year Google upgraded its search engine processes. This upgrade was called Google Panda. It changed how it viewed and ranked sites in search results worldwide. Many websites saw dramatic changes in traffic — this was a problem. A site that was once a top three search result became hidden at the bottom of page twelve. What in the name of Google was happening? The intentions of the Panda were noble. It wanted to remove poor quality sites from the top of its results page. The last thing Panda wanted was a spammy site listed on page one.

Unfortunately, some sites were slapped as having a high percentage of duplicate content. Duplicate content is a red flag for spam. Mr. Ketterman’s site was one of these causalities. Why? His content was ALL over the web, copied. Since Panda did not understand who the original author was, it slapped his site. Mr. Ketterman, who made a living by traffic clicking through affiliate links, became a page twelve bottom feeder. He set out to find who was poaching his material and discovered he had fallen victim to scraping.

Scraping is taking published web content, and copying it to a secondary website. Google had to be contacted to set the record straight; unfortunately this is not an easy process. Furthermore, Mr. Ketterman had to learn a few new tricks to keep that Panda smiling, especially by publishing unique content.

While taking notes, the bomb hit. I realized I was irritating the Panda by stealing my own material. I would publish a piece on a website I contributed to, and then days later publish that same piece on my personal blog. This is a BIG UGLY no-no, Google Panda does not care for this. Thankfully, my site has not been “Panda Slapped”. I’m still in good standing. However, to ensure the Panda continues to smile upon me, I will now post a recap on my site, and then link it back to the originally contributed post.

BlogWorld friends, to stay on top these days, don’t copy your own material and be sure to deliver original, well thought out content. Let’s keep that Panda happy. Thanks for sharing Shane.

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