Effective SEO In A Post Panda Update – The Rules Have Changed
Google Penguin search algorithm updates are punishing websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Google has made it clear that it frowns upon black-hat SEO techniques that try to artificially increase the ranking of a webpage by increasing the number of links pointing to the page. With Google Panda, Google sought to reduce the ranking of low quality websites and also those that provided poor user experience. The overall idea behind the Panda and Penguin updates is to make sure that higher quality websites show up at the top of Google’s search results. Google wishes to promote sites that have great content with the user in mind rather than sites designed with a search engine algorithm in mind. Google is trying to provide better rankings for high quality sites with original content, research and in-depth reports, detailed analysis and so on.
The original Panda Update affected about 12% of search results in the U.S. Google tried to punish scraper sites and content farms with this algorithm update. Panda tends to punish sites with duplicate content or poorly written content although duplication of a few pages or a small percentage of poorly written content is unlikely to trigger Panda.
From an SEO perspective, the thing to remember is that Google is constantly tweaking its ranking algorithm. Panda, however, is not an algorithm update. Panda is merely part of the overall Google algorithm just as PageRank is. Panda is a filter that Google hopes will help it locate low-quality pages. If you got too many low-quality pages on your website, your entire website will get Panda-fied (so to speak). That won’t make your site disappear in the search results but will appear lower on the search results page.
Among on-page SEO factors, content quality and freshness are of critical importance. The SEO needs to target appropriate content keywords that have been used naturally in sentences. Keyword stuffing is a big no-no. In terms of the HTML code, the TITLE tag should be unique to the page and descriptive. It should have appropriate meta description, header tags and structured data. Site reviews and rankings by readers, social media sharing, and the history of the site are important as well.
Google itself has given helpful advice about how to build high-quality websites in the wake of the Panda algorithm change. Some of the factors to consider while judging a website include whether the information on the site is trustworthy, whether it has been written by an expert, whether the site has duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations. Content on a site should be put with a view to engaging the readers of the site rather than attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines. Articles on sites need to provide original content, research and analysis. A good site is one that visitors want to Favorite or recommend to friends.
The basis for the Panda algorithm update was the massive web indexing system of Google called Caffeine. “Caffeine takes up nearly 100 petabytes of storage in one database,” according to Google. Google states that Panda “adds new information at a rate of hundreds of thousands of gigabytes per day.”
Most SEO techniques that worked previously will work now as well. There are a few important changes. SEOs have to remember that getting a bunch of ULRLs indexed is neither important nor sufficient. SEOs will have to focus on getting your highest-quality, most important URLs indexed.
• Use the rel canonical link element, robot exclusion, XML sitemaps, etc. to tell Google which pages are most important.
• Make sure the most important URLs are indexed and optimized.
• Remove duplicate and unnecessary URLs.
• Build high-quality external links via social media efforts
With Panda in place, SEO is about pushing the best content to the indexes and removing the low-quality content. If you need any advice or help around your SEO, please feel free to reach out to the team at Mind Digital. We are always happy to help with any of your SEO or digital marketing needs.
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