The Panda updates of Google are always looming around the corner, checking up websites that are flouting the rules. Webmasters and internet marketers are perennially wondering about how their websites fare on Panda’s score sheets. The sheer range of aspects that Panda takes into account makes it practically impossible to duck under its radar. The other weapon of Google, Penguin, shows up now and then, penalizing websites, setting the scores straight and leaving some websites in tatters. Panda updates, on the other hand, are there for keeps. It makes is doubly important for websites and SEO professionals to understand Panda and incorporate the lessons and guidelines in their work.
In this post, we are looking at some of the lessons that Panda 4.1 update has to impart for us, the SEO professionals, and digital marketers. These lessons are necessary to ensure that you are always on the good books of Panda. Check them out:
There is no chronological order as such but the lesson at the top of my list is the need for every single web page to serve its purpose. For example, a services page must give out information about products and services in a way that users benefit from the content of the page. There are too enemies of this line of web page construction: trying to pack in too much material in one web page and being confused about the objective of the page. Talk it out within your team as to what you want the page to accomplish. In another example, if you have a signup page, put the signup box and important instructions above the fold. This gives clear indications to Google that you are giving value content and pulls down the bounce rate of a web page.
Offsite references carry a lot of weight in the context of Panda yardsticks. Google identifies and knows the experts in every single domain of business. The movers and the shakers of your business field are right there in Google’s books. The question is: are these people talking about you or your brand? If the answer is yes, you are so on the right track! If no, you need to make that happen. You need that buzz where industry experts use your web content in their articles and blogs, social media mention, the works. When that happens, you get quality traffic to your website and deflect the attention of Google towards your website. If you continue with the good work, you will be designated as a industry expert yourself, a status that will do wonders for your brand. Getting inbound links to your website and positive reviews are par for the course.
A quick look through the Quality Raters Guidelines is all you need to understand this line of thinking from the Panda. You cannot allow the user experience of your website to be interrupted by the ads that you put up. There is little more frustrating that popup ads showing up every now and then, breaking through the smooth user experience. There is no denying the fact that ads bring revenue but to you and to Google, websites are for users, not ads! Ads are there because users are there. You cannot afford to drive away users because of your interfering ad scheduling. Quality Raters Guidelines tag this ad interference as a gross violation that goes completely against the fabric of the internet experience.
Imagine a situation where you write an exam for 180 minutes and submit the paper only to realize that you have forgotten to write your name on the top! That is what happens when after all the pains you take to prop up your website, there is a naked Apache link somewhere, a broken navigation there, spelling mistakes littered around, etc. These are counter-productive and contrary to belief, NOT minor glitches! On the computer screen and in this phase of the information age, these are amplified multiple times. Proof-read your website and tie up the loose ends. When Panda comes visiting, you don’t want to be caught napping
There are some don’ts as well that can take a look at:
A much known but much abused tip: don’t repeat keywords. Not in a single web page, yes, and not sprinkled over the entire website either! Keep it very natural (where have you heard that before!)
Don’t publish content because you are ‘doing SEO’. There cannot be a worse reason for writing blogs or articles. Focus on the purpose of developing user experience through your content. The SEO part will follow suit
Don’t miss out on providing validated business information on every web page of your website. You never know when the user decides to contact us. Don’t allow the user to hunt around for contact coordinates
Don’t forget to quote references. Attribute your post to the parent material so that Google knows that you are playing by the book and want to give credit where it is due.
Have some questions about Panda 4.1? Ask me here!