Article contributed by Edgar Boutaric.
Since the 24th February 2011, Google has rolled out its Panda update and this has had some significant impacts on the way SEO have been carried out. The objective of the Panda update, according to Matt Cutts, is to “reduce rankings for low quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful.”
The problem is that there are some genuine sites that offer some really quality content to the community that have been penalized by the Google update. So how do you deal with this algorithm modification? What changes should you make to your SEO strategies then? This is what we will be looking at in this article.
Ads on your sites
It is important that you pay attention to the amount of ads that your site have. According to some experts, there are some qualitative issues that are encompassed in the update and having too much ads on your sites can only hurt your websites ranking.
This is why it might be important that you limit the amount of ads on your websites to make sure that it does not trigger the Panda slap.
This one is a no brainer. Content is king on the internet but with the Panda update this has been taken to a new level. It is important that you do not have duplicate content on your site if you want to rank high in the search engines. Forget about auto blogs and other scraping tactics as this will ultimately bring you down the results page.
It is also important that you pay attention to duplicate pages that are created automatically by your CMS and other e-commerce platforms. If this is the case make sure that you use the rel=canonical element in order to handle duplicate content issues.
There are some sites that are “legitimate” content scrapers whereby they rely on other sources in order to publish their information. If you fall in this category then it might be important that you add value to their information. Instead of just rehashing the same content you should make sure that you add your own views to it to prevent Google from penalizing your site.
If you have a site that is made up of only 5 pages in order to get a few clicks, then you will have to re-consider your strategy. The Panda update is clearly targeting these sites and it might be important that you consider increasing the quality of your site. Adding some few pages regularly with some in-depth information that are really helpful for people will definitely help you deal with the algorithm changes.
In other words you should strive to become an authority on the subject and not stay a mediocre site.
Design and User-Interface
According to Vanessa Fox and Matthew Brown, you should focus on your website design and also on the user-interface in order to provide a great user experience. Make sure that your navigation is clear and that visitors can easily found what they came to look for. Indeed bounce rate can pay a major part in determining your site ranking on the search engines.
Engagement and Sharing
This has mainly to do with social media and how much engagement you can generate for your content. Make sure that it is easy for people to share your content across the various social media sites. You might also consider the addition of a Facebook like button on your site. This is really a breeze with the amount of plugins that exist nowadays.
Build thy brand
It might be important that you improve your brand signals. This is apparently what kept Ehow still up in the rankings after the Google update. A small site can achieve this by getting mentioned in tweets, Facebook shares and other social media sites. This will help raise awareness for their site and ultimately build their brand.
According to many SEO experts the recent Panda update is one of the most important that has been brought out by Google. Not only because of the changes that it has made in the search engines has ranking page but also by the uproar that been created by webmasters that feel that their site has been unjustly penalized. Hopefully the 7 tips listed above might be useful for you to deal with the recent changes in the Google algorithm and help you recover your previous rankings.
Edgar Boutaric is the founder of Blog Marketing Tools where you can find a lot of resources pertaining to marketing tools and blogging in general.