Google Farmer/Panda & Unique, Quality Content – A Case Study

The search marketing industry has been furiously debating the pros, cons, impact and implications of Google’s recently stated plans to improve the quality of their search results by weeding out poor quality sites that rely on publishing poor-quality content. Some site owners have been up in arms, some have been ecstatic and some have been fairly ambivalent to the whole thing, showing that the results of the update are anything but clear-cut.

Whilst at the time of writing the update has not been rolled out in the UK, from our perspective, the ‘new’ advice is very much in line with the advice we’ve always given to clients, namely offer good products or services, write good content, offer something unique and useful to users, market your site in the right places and keep on developing it. We thought it would be useful to share some data from a recent project that might go some way to showing just how effective good quality, unique content can be at gaining ranking positions and beating down the competition.

The Essential Background

  • The site is brand new
  • It operates in a highly competitive sector
  • A focus was placed on writing a large amount of totally unique content

The Results

The graph below shows the rise in organic search traffic during the weeks after the launch of the site, denoted by the arrow towards the left hand side. Whilst we can’t share exact figures what we can say is:

  • Over 15,000 different keywords brought traffic to the site
  • The maximum recorded increase in traffic is over 1,000%
  • Google brought most traffic by a factor of >200

What Can We Conclude?

This clearly isn’t a particularly scientific study, but what it does show is that good quality, unique content, well target and well-optimised can bring in significant amounts of traffic in a relatively short period of time. It shows that unique content is rewarded with high ranking and it shows that once ‘accepted’ as being of high-quality, the site’s traffic can grow substantially. The positive impact of good quality content is clear.

What remains to be seen is whether the relatively young age of the site and its limited backlink profile will count against it once the Farmer update hits the UK, or whether it will continue to attract traffic in similar volumes. The answer will of course be to keep developing the content and keep marketing it to develop good quality links, both of which are happening.

What Do You Think?

What have you experienced like this? Good? Bad? Indifferent? Let us know in the comments below!