It’s called Google ‘Panda’, the latest search algorithm which aims to promote high quality sites by depreciating the page rank of lower quality websites. Since the release and updates, many sites have been hit hard by the new algorithm. The worst rumour is, the effected websites can almost do nothing to recover their ranking and traffic.
Although there isn’t an exact solution to the Panda update, we all know Panda is basically a content quality filter. It is always said “Prevention is better than a cure“, so in this blog post we going to show you four essentials tips to help you prevent damage by Google Panda.
1. Remove Low Quality Content
Does your website have any duplicate content? Content that you have taken or used on another website? If so, remove it. Google’s aim is to provide the most relevant information to the ‘searcher’. Having low value content can cause the algorithm to hit down on your entire websites even if most of your site is unique and valuable.
To find out if your website has low quality content, here are some useful questions asked by the Google Webmaster Central Blog to aid you in determining the quality of the content on your site.
- Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
- Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
- Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
- Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
- Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
It’s without doubt that most E-commerce websites have low quality duplicate content. For example. why should a phone cover be described differently in each website and in each web page on your website? In theory, to meet the ‘unique’ content guideline every product on the website should have its own unique description and listing to avoid being marked as ‘low quality’ content by Panda.
2. Write Unique Content
As we have learned, the Panda update is aimed at ‘content farms’ and those sites which steal and duplicate content. This all means in order to prevent Panda from blacklisting your website, you need to stop stealing content from other websites, and really focus on writing unique content.
Don’t copy or retype the content from another website, but craft your own content with your own opinion and topic.
Sounds like an ‘old school’ SEO practice, right? Well the answer is yes, but now it’s the utmost important SEO practice!
3. Trust from Authority Sites
We often find ourselves more concerned with the amount of links, rather than the authority of the links. The content on your website is the most critical factor which will attract authoritative links.
What are Authority Websites?
An authority website is one that has a high credibility and high search results placement. Websites may be considered topical authorities or general authorities (Wikipeida, DMOZ, etc). Topical authority sites are well trusted and well cited by experts within their topical community.
The team from the Google Webmaster Central Blog has provided some questions to use as a guideline to produce what they call ‘authoritative content’.
- Would you trust the information presented in this article?
- Is this article written by expert/enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
- Is the site a recognised authority on its topic?
- Would you recognise this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
- Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
4. Track Panda Updates
Websites compromised by Panda will show vast changes, especially to the page views. When using Google Analytics, you will notice a massive fall in traffic. A loss in traffic is a possible sign of being hit hard by Panda. If you limit the search parameters in Google Analytics to the Australia Market, it will show a clear result of the Panda attack. If you unfortunately on of the victims of panda, you can do the following:
- Implement the changes we have suggested above.
- Ask Google to restore your rankings.
Just remember, if you write your own unique interesting content, you will have nothing to worry about.