The Panda Joke

A panda walks into a cafe, pandasits down and orders a sandwich. After he finishes eating it, he pulls out a camera, takes a picture of the waiter, and then stands up to go.

“Hey, Panda!” shouts the manager. “Where do you think you’re going? You didn’t pay for your sandwich!”

The panda pulls out a battered, poorly-punctuated dictionary and tosses it to the manager as he exits. “I’m a PANDA. Look it up!”

The manager opens it and sees this definition: “Panda: A white-and-black, bear-like mammal found in the forest areas of central China. Eats, shoots and leaves.”

OK, so maybe it’s not the best joke in the world, but it serves a purpose: It illustrates how one misplaced comma can change the entire meaning of a sentence, leading to disaster.

Panda jokes are funny. But Google’s Panda 4.0 update? If you’ve been populating your website with cheap content, then the joke’s on you.

A fantastic write-up by Julia Spence-McCoy* at SEMRush outlines 7 content writing guidelines for businesses to follow now that Google’s Panda 4.0 is in place.

Spence-McCoy’s analysis seems to place a more urgent emphasis than ever before on posting unique, knowledgeable and professionally written content only.

My favorite is #6, in which she advises companies to remove low-quality writing from their websites to avoid punishment from the new Google update.

Spence-McCoy goes on to advise, if removing bad content is not possible, companies should “start publishing more quality pieces immediately.”

 The Natural Health Writer loves this.

It sounds like Google’s Panda 4.0 may now even more aggressively target and punish the following affronts to the Art of Writing:

“Frankenwriting” that cobbles together copied-and-pasted phrases from scattered sources of questionable quality.

“Spun” content that changes a few words here and there to spawn meaningless permutations of the original piece.

Flat-out badly written copy: Typos, grammatical errors, poor sentence structure and lack of cohesion or meaning.

Inaccurate, unsubstantiated copy, which, in the natural health realm, creates risks far beyond a “Google Slap.”

Plagiarized content: Ah, plagiarism. The bane of Google, gumming up the works with redundant, unoriginal drivel.

*Here’s the Real Punchline:

I first read this awesome list of 7 Post-Panda 4.0 Content Rules to Live By as a LinkedIn post, “written by” an SEO consultant.

But scrolling down to the comment section, he was exposed as having plagiarized the entire post from the original work of Julia Spence-McCoy.

This means that this “SEO Consultant” plagiarized an article that was about avoiding plagiarism for SEO purposes…. Oh, the irony!

Talk about a misplaced comma!    ::rimshot::

But seriously, folks… what kind of writers are you working with in this Panda 4.0 world?