Google’s Panda algorithm update has had a significant – and negative – impact on websites from one end of the internet to the other, and many site administrators and online marketers are struggling to find out why Panda doesn’t like their site anymore and what they can do to please it and return their site ranking to its former glory. Two of the biggest focal points of Panda are to reduce spam-related concerns and drive higher quality and more contextually relevant websites to the forefront of search results.
Here are five important areas of website content that should be focused on to ensure that your site doesn’t suffer from Panda backlash:
1. Quality, Original Content
Panda apparently hates duplication and sameness. If the content on your site is the same as or very similar to content on dozens (or hundreds) of other websites, Panda will punish you. The formerly popular adage, “content is king,” has now fallen by the wayside and has been usurped by a new slogan for website design, “quality is king.” What if you are hawking the same product, service, or information as hundreds of other internet marketplaces? Your content must be clearly differentiated from other content, even for the exact same product, service, or idea.
2. On-Page Social Networking
Make abundant use of on-page linking and reference to social networking sites, and build the social aspect of your website and its content. This does not mean just providing links to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and others. It means using testimonials, guest blogs, highlighting customer comments, offering a monthly newsletter, focusing on customer/visitor oriented information, and establishing a “community” within your website.
3. Backlinking (Less is More!)
Backlinking remains a constant in optimizing websites for search engines, but the concept has been streamlined to the point where higher quality, lower quantity backlinks are now the order of the day. Gone are the days where 1,000 links pointing to your site from around the web is a good thing; now the importance is placed on where those links are pointing from. Ten links from extremely authoritative sites are worth a million links from sub-standard ones.
4. Thin Out Your (Virtual) Herd
Using analytics data for post-Panda statistics, determine which pages are actually suffering the most decline in traffic. These are contributing to your loss in ranking. Whether they simply present poor-quality content or they don’t pass the “must be different” test and reflect substantial duplication of other content on your site, these pages need to be either culled from the herd or revamped to present unique information relevant to your website’s focus.
5. Hire a Professional SEO Company
You simply can’t manage all the various aspects of SEO for your website on your own, not if you want to meet the constant demands of Google’s various updates and algorithm changes. A professional SEO firm provides you with focused experience in one particular area – SEO. They know what they are doing and they know how to do it best. SEO professionals stay current on industry changes, trending data, and algorithm updates that affect ranking, and they provide dedicated optimization services. Whether you are targeting very general, highly competitive terms like “real estate” or “womens shoes,” or you are working to gain rankings for more targeted or localized keywords like “home for sale Chicago Illinois” or “SEO in Perth Australia,” a professional company can help you create a strategy that can succeed, even with the post-penguin rules.
Panda has been a series of updates that affect a website on a totality basis, so if you are experiencing traffic loss for specific aspects of your site only – such as one particular page or a set of keywords, you may not have suffered a penalty from the Google algorithm changes. As always, make sure you are providing high-quality content and top-tier SEO practices for your website design and content optimization. Never sacrifice quality for quantity and focus on what your site’s visitors want to see. Give them what they want and they will come to you.
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