Google’s Panda, how to deal with it

Many SEO’s are trying to analyse the exact impact (and what to do about it) of Google’s latest major update: “Panda”
As usual different interpretations are published so there is no exact answer which will give us detailed information about Google’s last algoritn update.

But as we should believe Matt Cutts then we all know that this was a “content” update, just to push site owners to make their content much more valuable and clean up the rubbish.

Many of us have lost rankings and page indexes therefore, if it matters or not, I think it’s a good idea to spend time to analyse the content of your sites and make changes where needed, at least that’s what I will do.

To give you some guide lines, I have made a list of (content) tips for you:

  • Use of aggresive ads or excessive us of ads could be a factor
  • Trust is a big deal too
  • Substantial low quality on a site can cause the rankings for the entire site to decline
  • Overall user experience is likely important: design and usability, ad-to-content ratio, brand perception
  • Look at both content and page templates (do the templates overwhelm the pages with ads? Provide a poor user interface?)
  • Diversify into other channels and even within search, look beyond web search at Google News and “one box” style results such as blogs, images, and videos
  • We can potentially learn from content farms, particularly in how they pinpoint what audiences are interested in and what problems they are trying to solve as well as how they harness crowdsourcing.
  • This algorithm specifically targets sites (not necessarily content farms) that are low quality in a number of ways, such as:
  • Shallow content (not enough content to be useful)
  • Poorly written content
  • Content copied from other sites
  • Content that’s not useful
  • Evaluate your web site for poor quality pages (not useful, poorly written, non-unique, or thin) and remove them
  • After ensuring all content on the site is high quality, focus on engagement and awareness (through social media and other channels)
  • Low quality content on part of the site can impact the rankings of the entire site
    Remove the low quality pages of the site to increase rankings of the high quality pages
  • Getting rid of poor quality pages entirely (redirect them if it makes sense, otherwise 404 them)
  • Building out brand signals
  • Working on promotion and engagement
  • You could also have pages and/or sections of your website that are dragging down the overall rankings for other pages. Identify them.
  • Use the rel=”canonical” attribute on duplicate pages
  • Don’t delete, improve the content of the page immediately.
  • Address the most significantly impacted pages first, get rid of them
  • Use Meta Robots noindex, follow tag on individual pages
  • Delete the pages permantantly
  • Reduce the number of internal links
  • Improve the content X ad density ratio. More unique content on ad heavy pages.
  • Remove redundant pagination
  • Do nothing quite yet, watch and see what happens
  • Revisit those dark and forgotten parts of your website, eliminate any junk
  • Too many nofollowed outbound links could indicate to Google that you don’t trust anyone you link out to, so why should you be trusted
  • You may have gotten hurt mainly because your links are from article directories which have been penalised.
  • It’s also suggested that you take a look at site sections, directories and specific pages to see which ones were the most positively or negatively affected by the update, possibly by using your Webmaster Tools account. Then, with that data, you can:
  • Determine which sections of the site are unscathed.
  • Review these pages to determine if they need any adjustments to protect them from additional algorithm changes.
  • Otherwise, you can spend your resources on the pages that are having trouble.
  • Determine which sections of the site are heavily hit.
  • Compare the qualities of these pages to the ones that are unaffected to see if you can determine patterns about what caused the declines (as described more below).
  • Evaluate if some sections require too substantial an investment to improve and consider removing them.
  • Determine which sections of the site suffered minor losses as those may be easiest to improve so you can start gaining traffic back.

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