What Has Google’s Panda Update Got to Do With Email Marketing?


In April 2011 Google updated its algorithm – the ‘brain’ that decides which web pages rank where in its search engine results pages – ostensibly to improve the relevance of the results to the search terms entered by users.

It has caused some consternation in the Search Engine Optimisation world and a number of previously highly ranked sites affected are understandably miffed by Google’s changes.

The BBC interviewed Google’s head of search evaluation, Scott Huffman, about the changes and he was adamant these changes were not targeting specific companies (including one owned by rival Microsoft), but really were about improving user experience and usefulness of results.

What relevance does this have to email marketing? It all comes down to content on the web and how Google now evaluates this. A post on a Google blog explains the thinking behind the changes:

Panda was designed to “reduce rankings for low quality sites”, by which it meant “sites that copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful.” It continued “At the same time it will provide better rankings for high quality sites – sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”

So now, if you are generating fresh, original and in Google’s words ‘useful’ content, you’re much more likely to rank highly in its search engine.

Of course one of the best ways of doing this is to have a blog, or a news section on your site that you make certain you update regularly with useful information.

Our advice is that this shouldn’t be just product or service sales information or discount offers – by all means include some of this, but also include advice on your area/s of expertise, comment on current relevant news topics and what is happening in your industry and in your business.

If you put up say four or five pages/stories every month on your website, this is forty-eight new pages every year. This is important for Google – its ‘bots’ that visit your website see it is being updated regularly with new content and come back more frequently – and boost your search engine rankings.

Here’s where the email marketing bit comes in, and it’s psychological as much as anything else. If you commit to sending out a minimum monthly email to your database, you are forced to generate the necessary content. It becomes part of your routine.

If, instead of putting all the content into the actual email itself, you instead load each item or story as a separate page on to your website (using for example a Content Management System – CMS), your email newsletter/update can just link through to these items on your site. And you get the benefit of driving traffic to your website from the email and the positive benefit of that content on your Google rankings.

If there are particular search terms you’d like to be found for on Google, it makes sense to write content about these things. You can then track how you are going, and there are plenty of free tools out there to help you do this.

Next time we’ll talk about some of the email marketing applications you can use to make sending out emails a breeze. They won’t write your newsletters for you though!


We know from personal experience how putting lots of original content up on a website can vastly improve your rankings – a website project we ran for a while on Italian cars achieved very high rankings fairly quickly. Despite the fact it has not been updated for a number of years (which should count against it of course), the sheer volume of relevant material (over 1,000 pages) is clearly counting for something, as it’s ranking number one on Google Australia for ‘italian car’, ‘italiancar’ and ‘italian cars. There are 2,400 local (Australian) searches for ‘italian cars’ every month according to Google, 40,500 in total globally.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What Our Clients Say
482 reviews