If you own a website, you’ve probably heard of Google Panda, if you haven’t already suffered the effects of a Google slap. It changed the algorithms the Google search engine uses to rank websites. It made sure Google focuses on quality content over traditional SEO techniques.
It meant people who had attempted to manipulate the rankings saw their websites tumble down the rankings. Google Panda was designed to end this and focus on genuine web users who wanted to add value for users.
Clearing Out the Dirt
Google Panda worked towards removing the rubbish published online. It has a lot of definitions for what a poor quality website is. For a start, the update brought in real humans to judge some websites and make a decision on how it enhanced the user experience.
Installing human reviewers for the first time changed the game and now people have to cater to real users, rather than a few technical definitions. It’s no longer about checking lots of boxes.
Google Panda Update Updates
The ‘Google Dance’ shows Google Panda is receiving regular updates. Google Panda wasn’t the solution to fix everything. It was merely the start of Google’s plan. We have since seen lots of different updates which have closed loopholes and further strengthened the emphasis on quality content.
Google tends to have at least 30 updates every year. It’s just most people don’t see or hear of them as they aren’t widely publicised.
Google Panda claimed a number of victims in its push to destroy the useless websites poisoning the search engines. Link farms and content mills suffered first. If you were spamming links or posting pointless content for the purposes of SEO, it’s likely your site was completely removed from the search engines.
Human reviewers saw lots of lower quality websites were getting through. Updates and changes were made to Panda and even more websites were hit. These were websites not necessarily linked to nefarious practices.
Here’s how you can ensure your site survives any further Panda updates.
Low Quality Pages
Remove any poor quality pages. Ask yourself what’s the point of a certain page. If you can’t figure out a compelling reason, remove it. Don’t keep something in place just because you think the added keywords add more value. Cut things down to the bare bones and you’ll maintain your SEO ranking.
If you intend on updating these pages, you can mention the page is under construction. This is perfectly acceptable and Google won’t penalise your website for having this text on one or two of your pages.
Aim to go through your pages regularly and make any changes to make the information as updated as possible.
You have lots of primary keywords. What you should never do is have the same keywords on every page. It’s seen as spamming and it won’t help your ranking. Instead of having exactly the same keywords, concoct some variations and use those instead. Synonyms will still influence your search engine ranking positively.
Duplicate anchor texts are another area where you can be accused of spamming. Be wary of duplicate anchor text. Make it relevant and use synonyms like you would keywords. The easiest way to deal with this is to choose a different keyword variation for each anchor text. It accomplishes the same thing as before without incurring the wrath of Panda.
Alternatively, link to different pages. You run the risk of being flagged if you’re constantly linking to exactly the same page.
Any content which you’ve spun or automatically generated is a huge problem. Not only could it be considered duplicate, it could be poorly written. Remove any tools which automatically generate text, especially if it’s geared towards ripping stories from news reels.
Spun content is a highly debated issue. If you look at most of the Internet, every piece of content has been spun in some way. If Google removed it all there would only be a few thousand websites remaining in the search engines.
This sort of content becomes a problem when it becomes too similar to another piece of text. It must add something new whilst being sufficiently different from something else. In other words, there’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from someone else, but make it original.
Remember, Google uses human reviewers now so it’s not just a matter of fooling the search engines.
Yee of Little Text
Pages with only a small amount of text on can inadvertently damage your rankings. Obviously, you’ll be fine if it’s a contact page or a product page where there’s only supposed to be a tiny piece of text. Google aren’t stupid and they know when it’s acceptable for a page to have almost nothing on it.
On a conventional page, such as your home page, they expect it to be rich in content. It should offer real value to users. Every click should reveal something new and ground-breaking, if you want to elevate your site to the first page of Google.