Tag Archive | "Panda"

Why SEO Still Isn’t Going Anywhere For a While

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Why SEO Still Isn’t Going Anywhere For a While


It happens time and time again. Google makes an update to the way their ranking algorithm works. Business owners, webmasters and marketers are affected and some pages go down in the SERPs. Panic sets in some online marketing blogs and website articles. Titles such as “SEO is Dead” or “Google is Penalizing E-Commerce Sites” start appearing. This gives the impression that SEO is now a thing of the past and that Google has some magic and arbitrary way to rank websites which nobody can do anything about.

This has happened again recently when Google launched their Panda update and its revisions. But despite what you read on these blogs, SEO is not dead and is unlikely to die out anytime soon. Webmasters can still use various on site or off site optimization techniques with the hopes of getting their pages to rank better in search results. Except that there is one major change: Google is seeking to reward quality web pages that provide users the content that they’re looking for. The focus is now on short term growth. Not on who can cram the most keywords on a page or build a million backlinks in a day.

Ok, now that you know SEO still works. What has changed? Some of the methods and best practices used in the SEO world will need to be adjusted slightly.

The major part about the updates is the on site content. If you have a website that contains “articles” which are just stuffed with keywords and are otherwise completely nonsensical, get rid of them. They will only get you penalized. Strive to have information that is useful, legible and highly relevant to what your website is all about. Include a mix of informational content about your niche and sales materials which promote your products. This will not only lead to better user satisfaction (and more conversions), plus likely to get you better rankings, or at least keep you from getting penalized.

The quality of your website is also another factor that is apparently used by Google to determine how a page ranks. Now we don’t know which metrics Google measures exactly, but these can be guessed relatively easily: page load time, easy navigation, as well as the presence of a site map that allows users to find a specific page on your website with ease.

Then, there is something new: user engagement. What does this mean, exactly? Again, the exact metrics used by Google are unknown, but there are a few theories. User engagement means that website visitors interact with a website rather than just read the content on it. This could include social opportunities such as social media buttons, plus allowing user comments on your articles. Many webmasters have noticed that website which give users more opportunities for interaction tend to do much better in SERPs. But how do you accomplish this? There are a few ways that you can use. While they may not be guaranteed to propel you to 1st place on Google, they may help you rank better. We will take a look at these tomorrow.

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Debunking Common Myths About Google Panda: Part 2

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Debunking Common Myths About Google Panda: Part 2


With all the myths floating around on the internet about the Google Panda update, it’s time that we made some sense about what that update really means and how webmasters can adjust to it. Here are some more myths about the update that we can debunk:

 

  • Large Sites that Consistently Ranked Well Will Not be Affected

 

There are some major players in the web content field that were hit by the Panda update. About.com, a site that provides information on various topics thanks to guides and FAQ’s submitted by its users has stated that it saw a “moderate” impact on its traffic due to Panda.

 

Associated Content, a site where different writers can submit articles and that was owned by Yahoo! Has also been affected. This has resulted in Yahoo! Retiring the site, opting instead to keep some of its best content and to move it over to a new site called Yahoo Voices.

 

Therefore, no matter how big or popular a site is, it can be affected by Panda.

 

  • Sites That Were Penalized Will Still Keep the Penalty After Improving Their Content

 

Web pages that are in Google’s index are run through the filter on an occasional basis. Pages that were improved will have a chance to get back on track. The important thing to know is that you should seek to make improvements to your entire site to ensure that it has quality content and not just a few pages. It may take a while for your site to recover from its penalty, however Panda is not designed to permanently ban a site from the search index.

 

  • Only the Pages With Poor Content Will be Penalized

 

Unfortunately, Panda will apply a penalty that will be valid for the entire site if there are enough pages that are classified as poor quality. It is possible that some pages on a website that have been penalized will keep their good ranking if they are of very high quality, however. But this is not something that will happen in all cases. Therefore, webmasters need to be sure that all of the pages on their site have high quality content, or risk getting penalized.

 

  • Only Websites That Have Articles on Them Will be Penalized

 

Again, all web pages will go through Panda, so it doesn’t matter what type of content you have on your site. It will still be subjected to the rules of the filter. Even if your website only has pages which have one or two hundred words on them and can’t really be classified as “articles”, your site could face a penalty if these pages are ranked as poor quality. No matter what you have on your website, you should follow the basic SEO recommendations, such as making sure that good spelling and grammar is used on all pages, not overusing keywords, not inserting irrelevant keywords into pages they don’t belong, etc.

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Debunking Common Myths About Google Panda

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Debunking Common Myths About Google Panda


Ever since Google rolled out their “Panda” Update in February 2011, there have been many myths that have circulated all over the web about it. Here are some of the more common ones and answers to them:

 

  • Google Wants to Get Rid of Affiliate Marketing as We Know It

 

The Panda update has nothing to do with affiliate marketing, CPA offers, etc. It can affect any website, whether it is selling its own products, promoting affiliate offers, or even not selling anything at all and not containing any ads. Those who do affiliate marketing or promote cost per action offers properly (using different traffic sources, ensuring the quality of landing pages and web content, etc) should not suffer too much from it. It’s designed to stop marketers who use Black Hat SEO techniques, such as publishing content designed to attract those who search for certain terms and then trying to get them to buy a product.

 

  • The Panda Update Only Affects Content Repositories

 

Every website on Google’s index will go through the Panda filter, no matter what kind of site it is. Whether you have just a few pages that were written by yourself, or you run a site where hundreds of different authors submit content, your site will be filtered through it just the same. While some of the websites that were the most affected by the Panda update were indeed content repositories, the reason behind this is that they had a higher chance of having poor quality content on their sites to begin with, as they have submissions from many different authors.

 

  • Panda Only Targets Queries done in US English

 

This was true at the beginning, but it’s just not the case anymore. Content in all languages, except Chinese, Japanese and Korean will be affected by Panda. Therefore, if the content on your site is written in a language other than English, this will not let you “escape” the new filter created by Google. While it is not known as of now if the same criteria is used to filter sites in all languages, according to some online marketing news, it seems that sites published in other languages can indeed be penalized if they have too much content that is irrelevant, poorly written, or repetitive.

 

  • If a Page has Gone Through the Filter the First Time, Everything is OK

 

Google has made several adjustments and tweaks to Panda which have the goal of making it more effective for its intended purpose. Google is expected to continue rolling out updates to it. Therefore, attempting to “outsmart” Google by using black or gray hat SEO techniques is unlikely to work well in the long term. The only way forward if you want your site to rank well on a consistent basis is to provide your users with quality content at all times.

 

There are a few other myths about Panda that are circulating. Tomorrow we will take a look at some more.

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More About the Google Panda Update

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More About the Google Panda Update


Ever since the Google Panda Update has been launched, there has been a lot of talk about it in the online marketing world. However, many people still don’t understand what exactly the update is all about and how it can affect a website. Here is some more information about it and ways to avoid problems associated with this update from Google.

 

The most important things to understand is what Panda actually is. Essentially, it is a filter that weeds out content that doesn’t have enough substance. The filter is ran on a periodic basis. Every time that it is, all the content indexed by Google goes through the filter again. Therefore, any content that has been caught up in the filter the first time can go through if it has been improved enough. If it’s still poor, then it will remain there and suffer a penalty in the rankings.

 

Some have argued that Panda is a completely new way that Google uses to rank web pages. This actually isn’t true. There are more than 200 different factors that Google uses to rank pages in search engine results. The Panda update is just one of them.

 

The main purpose of the Panda update when it was released in February 2011 was to deal with “content farms”. These are websites that have been responsible for “polluting” search results by returning web pages that had little relevance to the keywords that were being searched for by the user. A content farm is a website that usually employs several writers (can sometimes range in the thousands), which create content such as articles, reports, blog posts, etc. that are targeted towards some popular keywords being searched. These sites profit from the traffic that they receive when users click on the ads that they publish, which are usually for products that are loosely related to what the content on the page talks about. The quality of the information on a content farm can vary. Some sites have nearly professional quality content, while on others it simply reads like a bunch of gibberish written by someone who hasn’t even mastered basic English.

 

Since then, several updates to Panda have been released, by the main purpose is still the same: keeping low quality content from ranking well in search results. Websites that were penalized because of the update have a chance to change things. To get rid of the penalty, all a webmaster needs to do is to remove the content that is of poor quality, or replace it with something that is well written and relevant to the keywords that are targeted on the site.

 

The basic principles of search engine optimization still apply. Websites that provide their users with high quality content and that target keywords which are closely related to what they have on their site should not experience too many issues with this, or any of the future updates done by Google to the way they rank search results.

 

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Bing Rolls Out a Few Small Changes Too

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Bing Rolls Out a Few Small Changes Too


The world of internet marketing is one that is always changing and sometimes very rapidly. Some items that have made the headlines recently are the changes brought to Google’s search algorithm, which we have talked about previously. However, Google is not the only search engine making changes to the way their service works. Even though the Big G is currently the undisputed leader when it comes to web search, marketers and webmasters need to know that Bing is also in the search engine game. Even though they don’t get as many searches as Google, it is still important for website owners to know what’s changing with them.

The changes that have been made by Bing recently have been posted on their blog as well as being presented on various online marketing related news websites. The main element that has changed is the layout of the search results pages. For any search engine, presented search results in a good way to users is crucial if they want to maintain their user satisfaction. What Bing did is made the search results page a lot more simple. Results from videos, photos and maps will still be present, however they have moved to add more white space to the page. Social results will still appear, however they are now in one designated spot on the page.

Related searches to the keywords entered by the user have been moved from the top left to the bottom right portion. Furthermore, the other search types (maps, local, image, etc) have been put on top of the page where they can be browsed in a tab format as opposed to being simply links located on the left side of the page like before.

With results to the search algorithm, Bing has stated that they have made some minor improvements to it, with the goal of returning more relevant content to users. However, according to many sources, the changes aren’t as significant as the rollout of the Panda update was for Google.

No matter what the search engine is, those involved in online marketing will need to know that the changes made to search algorithms by search engines aren’t factors that they can control. Of course, details of what has really changed in these updates remain a trade secret, but some information will undoubtedly be figured out by SEO experts.

But for a website to be successful, its search strategy needs to be a lot more than just keeping up with changes in the search engine world and making modifications to try and game the system. Search engines, whether Google, Bing or all others, are always looking to deliver the highest quality and most relevant content to their users. Keeping your website content at an optimal quality level should be what comes first. Then, you can get into the specifics of what could make your search engine ranking better by making some small modifications to the way your website is structured or the content presented to the user.

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