I’m sure many of you remember Google Panda (February 2011), whilst this update took place well over a year ago we’ve been asked on many occasions to create a post providing recovery tips.
I know that there are many of you still trying to recover from the effects of Panda and the consequent updates that followed. If you’re still suffering from the effects of Google Panda and want to know how to make changes to recover, check out the tips below. If you’re looking for recovery tips on Google Penguin, check out the following post -
Recommended reading: The Bloggers Guide to Recovering from Google Penguin
If Google’s “Panda” Update would have a character, surely it would not come out like this adorable fellow.
Instead, it would look like Po, the kick-ass panda in the film “Kung Fu Panda”.
Does it mean that the search engine giant’s series of algorithm changes are defeating plenty of websites?
Hmm, the impact is not what you call “defeat” exactly. Instead, the updates (which work like a filter) sift through all the content that Google has indexed placing high-quality sites on top of search engine result pages (SERPs) and “spammy” sites in the bottom.
How Does One Keep Panda Happy?
The key is to make the website’s target audience interested and satisfied with the content. The information presented and the domain’s overall look has to be engaging to encourage the users to visit repeatedly or share the site with other people.
What about those penalized sites, what do the owners or webmasters have to do in order to recover?
Now, if your website used to rank in the first page several months ago but has plummeted to the fourth to sixth page, it could be the effect of the algorithm changes. Then again, you will not know for sure unless you check for clues.
With that said, you can use the following tips to determine whether the low ranking of your site is due to the update.
How Do You Verify if Google Has Penalized Your Website?
Assuming that you have set up the corporation’s analytics software, you can use it to carry out the given procedures. On the other hand, you can benefit from other companies’ applications.
1. Log in to your Webmaster Tools to see if you have received a message telling you about unnatural links on your site. If there is, this indicates the impact of Panda.
2. Look into each aspect of your traffic, which consists of the following:
- Paid search – It refers to the visits you obtain through pay per click (PPC).
- Organic – It points to the views you get from search engines owing to SEO.
- Direct – It involves users who visit your site by typing in the URL directly or accessing it through an email link (not found on your website).
- Referral – It indicates the traffic you gain from other portals, including networking sites like Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.
If there is a drop in the number of people visiting your website, this means that you are under penalty.
So, what can you do to increase your ranking again?
Generally, you just need to consider Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to help you determine which practices allow spiders to search and index your website effectively.
But to give you a basic idea on the things you need to do, have a look at these strategies.
How Do You Spring Back from the Panda Effect?
1. Create content
While you are doing this, you have to take note of these characteristics.
- Original – You must not copy it from other sites. At the same time, you have to keep other people from duplicating it by making canonical URLs. You can learn more about this strategy on Webmaster Tools (support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=139066).
- Convincing additional value – The information has to be compelling and highly valuable for the users to help send your message across effectively. It must also address your target readers’ concerns.
- Authoritative – It has to present more substance than adverts, especially above the fold since it is usually the first area that most visitors see whenever the page loads.
- High user engagement – You know that the people respond well to your content if the click-through and conversion rate is high, while the bounce rate is low.
2. Apply search engine optimisation
SEO has two fundamental areas, which you need to work on. These are the following:
- Off-page – It usually involves tactics intended for external factors such as backlinks and PageRank. You can obtain the former through blogging, social media signals, and linking to authoritative sites. Once you have plenty of credible backlinks, you can increase your page rank.
- On-page – It generally encompasses all strategies aimed at improving internal elements. Some of the most important on-page techniques include creating title and description tags, carrying out keyword research, and generating internal links. It also involves boosting page speed, which we are going to discuss next.
3. Enhance webpage loading time
While search algorithms consider it a small factor in ranking, it is essential for many users. If you do not take care of slow loading period, this is what is going to happen.
If you do not want irate visitors, who tend to leave before your webpage loads completely, take note of these tips.
- Lessen HTTP requests by using CSS image sprites.
- Avoid posting too many adverts.
4. Use social media optimization
You can take advantage of networking and blogging to recover from the impact since Google considers social signals and votes (shares, likes, follows, etc.) as ranking factors.
So, there you have it. These are some of the vital ways to spring back from the bottom SERPs to the top. Given that this information is not exhaustive of the best practices, take time to study Google’s guidelines.
About the Author:
Emma Tomlinson is the Head of Retail at Smart Traffic, a leading search agency providing white label SEO solutions to several clients from different countries around the globe.