Google Panda is perhaps the most significant algorithm update to ever hit the Internet… yet. It’s been a month since Google rolled out the new algorithm and it’s still one of the hottest topics in the SEO world. This isn’t surprising, though, because the update practically reshaped the search landscape.
According to Google, the new algorithm is intended to improve search quality – Panda is aimed at eradicating duplicated content, low-quality articles and pages with worthless information.
Millions of pages in just about every topic area took a dramatic drop down the search results. Content farms are the main target, but in the process of filtering out content farms, several high quality sites were also affected. To add insult to injury, many of the high quality affected sites do their own SEO and are clueless as to how to fix the damage.
The website Mahalo.com, a massive information resource, has been practically squeezed out of Google’s organic search rankings. As a result, Mahalo reported a 10% employee reduction.
While a massive number of websites have been scurrying to get their lost rankings back, some have used Google Panda to their advantage. Some unaffected sites announce traffic increase of about 10% ever since Panda’s release.
All this commotion over Google Panda and its impact over search results bring us back to one of the most basic ingredient of online marketing: high quality, compelling and relevant content.
If your Google search positioning suddenly dropped like a stone, don’t hit the panic button just yet. There are ways to redeem your website and get back in the game.
1. Check if Panda is the culprit.
Panda was rolled out on February 24th, so if your rankings plummeted before or much later, the reason could be something else. Check your analytics before you blame the new algorithm.
2. Look at each of your site’s pages.
Google Panda looks at individual pages for low-value, scraped or shallow content. Therefore, you can easily find out where to start the site revamp by looking at pages that have performed terribly since the algorithm change.
3. Create original, interesting and deep content.
It only makes sense to re-evaluate your site’s content and do a content overhaul. The basic SEO rules are still the same. Create great content – the kind you’d like to read online. Authoritative, useful and unique content always wins. If you think content that simply rotates around keywords work, you couldn’t be more wrong because that is exactly what Google Panda wants to eliminate. Do what’s necessary to have content that’s valuable to readers.
4. Remember, Google Search is not the ONLY source of traffic
Google has somehow bent the Internet and everything in it to its will. This brings us to one vital peace of advice: don’t depend solely on a third party business model, e.g. Google. Otherwise, you’re bound to fail at one point or another.
Google continually aims for: making its users happy, not content makers or website owners.
Also, Google always points out the need to establish a brand, not a website. This is why the search engine tends to support established brands.
Considering the above tip, your next step should be generating strategies that will take your eggs out of Google’s search basket. Here are invaluable techniques to help you start.
- Social media
Facebook and Twitter are effective destinations for social media advertising. What’s great about social media is that you have the opportunity to directly interact with existing and potential customers. Just note that this isn’t meant to boost your search engine rankings because Facebook and Twitter aren’t really ranking factors.
- Alternate Search Engines
Let’s not forget there is 100’s of other search engines that generate good amounts of traffic and often it is much easier to include your site and optimize for these engines. We’ve always been told to not put our eggs in the one basket, making sure your site is listed in the other hundred plus search engines is the most effective way of “spreading your egg’s”.
- Paid search
If ranking high organically is difficult, try Yahoo Search Marketing, especially if you have enough funds for it. Search marketing is an effective alternative for driving Web traffic.
- Google Images and News
While this still falls under the reigns of Google, being included in these destinations doesn’t depend on organic traffic. Include alt tags for your images so that Google can identify them and your photos will be optimized. News sites or blogs have a good chance of being optimized on Google News, so make the most of this feature to drive good traffic.
- E-mail and Newsletter
E-mails provide a direct line to customers or site visitors, while newsletters feature top deals or news. Both these platforms are good non-Google methods of improving traffic.
Panda is yet to effect 100% of the world wide web, for the lucky few you may want to look at employing some of the above points to secure your alternate sources of traffic.