Search Engine Optimization in a Post-Panda World

Google’s latest algorithm update, dubbed Panda, has many websites reevaluating their search marketing strategies. Websites that were formerly on top of the search engine results for their target keywords have found that their rankings have fallen post-Panda. What caused websites that were formerly ranking well in Google SERPs to plummet and how can businesses recover?

Most of the websites that were negatively impacted by Google’s Panda update may have been judged to be inferior in quality either due to their content or their backlink profile. Sites that were overflowing with advertisements were also hit hard by the update. Content mills and sites that were designed specifically for Google AdSense in particular have fared poorly since Panda was implemented scraping google. Websites that formerly relied on blogs to help boost their ranking in Google SERPs may have also been negatively impacted. It is still possible for these websites to recover their ranking.

Content based websites may need to focus on improving the quality of their existing content and continuing to build new content. Any articles or blog posts contained on a website should use good spelling and grammar. Content should also be unique. One of the primary targets of Panda were websites that contained duplicate or scraped content. Duplicate content should either be rewritten for uniqueness, eliminated from the website entirely or replaced with completely new content.

Some Google experts also believe that factual content ranks better than opinion thanks to the changes implemented with Panda. Businesses may want to consider including more statistics in their content and providing links to good quality, authoritative references. Virtually every industry has at least one or two good quality industry specific websites that can be used as references.

Once any content issues have been resolved, businesses affected by Panda need to carefully scrutinize their existing link profile. Websites are better off requesting that webmasters remove poor quality links entirely since they may now negatively impact ranking in the Google SERPs. Prior to Panda, these links had a neutral affect on ranking. In the future, websites should be careful where they leave backlinks. Avoid contracting with shady marketing companies that promise to boost search engine rankings by delivering thousands of poor quality backlinks.

You’ve likely heard the adage that “content is king” on the internet a million times by now. Everybody knows that Google loves fresh content. Of course, that is not entirely the truth: a search engine is not a person that can “like” or “hate” anything, and no one but a couple of Google engineers knows for sure how their search engine works! Yet, your content is an asset that you can use – like any other asset – strategically.

What in a world that means? It means using another overused business buzzword: a leverage. You will want to leverage your old content, “freshen it up” a little in order to attract Google robots to your site. The rewards for doing so can sometimes be abundant!

However, as an already overworked freelancer or a small business owner scraping for time, you can’t dedicate that much of your already heavily taxed attention span to the content creation as you’d like. That’s why you will need to use the existing one creatively.

Google has always been prioritizing the newer, fresher content on his search results pages, but in the last few months, that bias has been even more pronounced. Also, the way search engines score content that never changes, and the one that is regularly updated, is different.

If you care at all about SEO, you will know that getting a little more love from Google can mean a lot for your business, so – it’s time to freshen up!

You can use Google’s taste for fresh content to your advantage by keeping tabs on the current trends in your industry. Is there any major event happening, or is about to happen? Maybe there is a regularly occurring (yearly, biennial etc.) event that is important for people in your industry, or for your customers? If there is such an event, great: you can now update any relevant old content with the new details and announcements as they come up.

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