Rural Business, Google’s Panda Algorithm Will Help You Be Successful

by Joanne Steele on June 28, 2011

A Panda Latte

Pandas are appearing everywhere! Is this another confirmation that Google rules the world???

About once a year Google changes something about the way they evaluate websites that is reflected in search results.

That’s important to you because it determines whether your website shows up on page one when your customer is searching for businesses like yours.

You and everyone else knows that if your website doesn’t show up on page one for a Google search, it might as well not exist. People rarely click beyond page one, and most people don’t even scroll down to the bottom of page one!

So you understand why the internet marketing world is in a dither about this new update. And Google is still tweeking it, which means every few weeks new iterations of Panda send the internet world into a flurry.

Why rural business should welcome Panda

You, a small local business owner, have the same objectives as Google:

  1. You want to give every customer excellent personalized service.
  2. You want people to feel like the experience of your business exactly meets their needs.
  3. You are not interested in tricking anyone into coming into your business. You want to connect with and serve people who are looking for what you have to offer.

There are many websites online that are interested in tricking their way onto page one for any type of search that could bring anyone to their site. They’re in the numbers game, thinking that if they get 10,000 people to click through from page one, they’ll maybe get 50 customers and it’s okay that the other 9950 people were dissatisfied and left.

Google can’t allow that kind of thing to happen, because those 9950 people will ultimately be dissatisfied, and might decide to change search engines!

So, like you, Google is interested in serving up exactly what their customer wants.

This is a tall order when you consider all the SEO wonks on the net who are trying very hard to second guess Google and land themselves on page one whether they deserve to be there or not!

So, back to the Panda Algorithm. SEOMoz has a very good, short video on Panda that I highly recommend.

The important thing for you to watch for in this video is the statement by Aaron Wheeler, about what Google now considers when it rates a website: “What is the experience of this website? Is it creating a brand that people are going to love and share and reward and trust?”

You still need to pay attention to keywords so that Google knows you are talking about what your customer is asking for in his or her search.

But, it also means that everything we’ve talked about, about engaging your Perfect Customer, is even more important. From the moment they land on your page, the pictures and words must show that you understand their needs and wishes.

And that’s not hard for you. You do it face-to-face with your customer in your  rural business everyday.

Treat your website more like you rural business, starting right now.

Too many small local business websites look more like advertisements for attractions. If you continue to treat your rural business website like a generic advertisement, you will be punished by Google Panda along with those who are trying to game the system.

Google is looking for websites that provide an authentic connection that serve the needs and wishes of the searcher.

You know how to do that because you do it every single day in your rural business.

Don’t allow your concerns about the technology to stop you from fully connecting with your customer online.

Google wants to reward small local businesses, but you need to do your part and update that old static billboard website with a true representation of who you are and what you do.


Watch for our new, affordable online training program that will help you take control of your website. We’ll be emailing information soon, so please sign up for our newsletter if you haven’t done so already.

Here are a few posts to help you while you wait::

Is Your Rural Tourism Business Website a Marketing Asset or Liability?

Musings About SEO, WordPress and Thesis for Rural Tourism Businesses

Photo on Flickr by yoppy








1 Rommel Fernandes July 8, 2011 at 3:47 am

Joanne, till I read your article, I did not know why Google was so interested in ensuring that people got what they want when they searched. If they didn’t they would switch search engines. Even after the Panda update I feel that there will still be some crooks who will escape unscathed.

2 Joanne Steele July 8, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Exactly Rommel. It’s part of the game, and one of the reason Google keeps getting better and better! All those SEO experts trying to outsmart them. But small local businesses never have to worry – like Google, they are always focusing on the needs of their customer.

Previous post:

Next post: