Google Panda Updates, since its introduction, made the SEO community roar about websites losing search engine ranking. We too have posted several dedicated articles about Panda updates. Though many raised concerns about these updates, I think Panda updates will continue to improve the quality of SERP, removing the medium to low quality sites from the top ranking positions.
Google Panda updates have forced us to think out-of-the-box. You need to be strategic not only with your content, but also with the other factors to give your visitors a better user experience. To begin with, you may start adjusting your website in order to suit the behavior of your visitors. Give them more industry related content in order to increase their on-site time. This will eventually help you to increase the pages per visit, while reducing the bounce rate.
Reduce the bounce rate: Google Analytics will give you a detailed picture of your bounce rates. Mark the pages that have high bounce rates and start working on them. Study the pages and determine what made your visitors leave your site. Is it poor quality or irrelevant content? Are the ads you have on page annoying the people? Or is it that your visitors don’t know what to do after they reach a particular page and you have failed to guide them? If it is the quality of the content, edit them. In case of irrelevant content, remove them altogether. Also avoid giving too much of pop-up ads. Make sure the ads are not disturbing the visitors while reading the content.
Most of the times, it was noticed that the blog sections have the highest bounce rate. This can be due to two reasons – first, the quality of the content, which we have already mentioned. Second, visitors are often clueless about what to do after find the information they were looking for and leave the blog. The second issue can be managed with some strategic steps. You need to guide your visitors to the next content that they might find interesting – use a suggestion fly-box. Once your visitor scrolled down the end of a post, suggest another random post from your blog section. This is one of the best ways to lower the bounce rate of your blog section.
Increase the number of content: The amount of content on page is an essential factor for Google Panda updates. The search engine is skeptic about pages with thin content. Thus, increase the volume of content of each page. This is especially applicable for e-commerce sites as the product pages of these sites are the easy victim of thin content. One solution is to write a detailed description for each product. The sites using user-generated content like reviews should have a minimum text required to be posted. Another tip is to use a spell checker on the review form to avoid as much spelling checking as possible.
No duplicate content: When we said add more content to each page, we meant fresh and unique content. Having same content on several pages is a big no-no for Panda updates. Having duplicate content on your website is one of the biggest risks that can damage your search engine reputation. Also, your site is more likely to end up in the supplementary index. You entire website can get penalized by Google and the search engine giant will not display your site until the ban is removed. Though it is possible to lift the ban, it won’t be overnight. And by the time Google will lift the ban, you would have lost your reputation and a lot of your visitors. Thus, removing all your duplicate content should one of your priorities.
Focus on social media relation: Your social media relation can help you to minimize the adverse effect of Panda updates. Google counts and values the social mentions. Make sure your website has social presence on the three major social networking sites – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And don’t forget the search giant’s social channel Google+ when it comes to improve your social presence. In addition, focus on the other social channels, especially the bookmarking sites like Digg, Delicious, and StumbleUpon. The content liked and shared by people on these social networking sites help you to gain higher value on Google. For the search engine giant, it is considered as an approval when someone mentions your site on social media.
Optimize your site for mobile browsing: The bounce rate of your site may increase if it is not mobile friendly. Make sure the loading time is minimal for the mobile users and the images are opening properly. Also, focus on the front size of your content. In short, create a full-featured mobile website. In case you have a flash site, change the template for the mobile version to improve the loading speed. Apart from decreasing your bounce rate, having a mobile friendly site will help you in achieving higher conversion rates.
In summing up, make sure your website has lower bounce rate, and add unique content that can add value to your visitors’ experience. Use high quality and informative content, instead of focusing on the quantity of content. Be strategic, if using user-generated content. Also, make sure your web pages have incoming links from quality sites. Google values back links from authoritative sites. Add social media buttons on your site to help users to share your content on the major social channels. Finally, limit the number of ads on your web page. Websites with too many ads pose the risk of being penalized by Google.
Link Building Dont’s and Do’s After Penguin Update
- Lack of Social Signals– Google is paying more attention to social signals when determining search engine results page rankings. In order to take some of the power away from those that purchase links from unrelated sites, link farms and blogging networks that practice spamming, Social sharing from Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Digg and Reddit are now influencing the rankings a site receives from Google.
- Create Google+ and Facebook pages as well as a Twitter feed.
- Provide up to date, informative content to all social media sites.
- Be sure to add badges to your website allowing visitors to become friends, connections and followers.
- Include social sharing options to your site, enabling visitors to share content they themselves deem informative.
- Too many exact match anchor text links – In the past standard link building profile was to achieve 70-80% of the inbound links as exact match anchor text links. Now it is recommended that only 10% – 40% of the inbound links profile is exact match.
- Brand Anchors – This form of link anchor text incorporates the name of your business into the keyword text and are commonly used to link back to the home page. In order to make it appear more natural, consider linking brand anchors to the internal pages as well. Keep 10-15% of inbound links as brand anchors.
- Junk Anchor Text – Often seen as “contact us” and “visit us today”, this form of link text is important to use as it looks most natural to Google. Keep 5-7% of inbound links like this.
- Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) – Simply stated, this type of text link is composed of words that are related to the targeted keyword. For example, a site that features “marketing” would target word phrases such as “marketing strategies” or “free marketing tips”. This type of keyword is important as it is more natural for searchers to search for keywords of this nature. Keep 15-20% of inbound links like this.
- Naked URL’s – In short, Naked URL’s are just variations of your sites web address. For example; www.7boats.com can also be labeled as http://www.7boats.com or http://7boats.com. These URL’s can be linked to both home and internal pages of a website.
For those that have been penalized or deindexed by the latest Google algorithmic change here are a few steps you can take to recover.
- Remove or change incoming links that use exact match anchor text to Brand, Junk, LSI or Naked URL’s.
- Abandon your current link building campaign and start fresh with a new campaign that consists of a well rounded strategy that incorporates all anchor text techniques.
- Get Social on Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Include Reddit and Digg social sharing options, as well as others, to all website pages.
Google is constantly changing the way it determines search engine results placement. Keeping up with the changes is an ongoing endeavor that can take up an enormous amount of time.