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What is The Google Panda Update

  • In February 2011, Google shocked many website owners with the Google Panda Update. As a result of the update, 12% of search results have been impacted significantly. In fact, 40% of U.S. SEO Practitioners admitted they lost a considerable amount of traffic as a result of this update. But, what exactly is the Google Panda Update?

    What is the Google Panda Update?
    Named after one of Google’s top engineers, Navneet Panda, The Google Panda update, also known as Content Farmer update was designed to crack down on low quality websites and web pages. This new algorithm change determined sites that were not of quality due to:

    • No internal or external links
    • Not enough text on the page
    • Poor navigation structure
    • Low quality backlinks
    • Irrelevant or Poorly written content

    There are many other factors that determined which sites would get the “crack down” from Google Panda. However, many quality websites got a pleasant surprise when they too lost their Search Engine Rankings. What’s even more shocking; the content farms that Google initially planned to crack down on, increased the amount of traffic to their websites after the Google Panda Update. Popular websites like eHow.com & Wisegeek.com were a few of the sites the update was targeting. This left a lot of website owners confused and disappointed. They worked hard to get top rankings, and all their efforts were gone in the blink of an eye. Now more than ever, ambitious website owners are doing everything they can to get their rankings back to the top positions they worked so hard to get. If you own a website, and want to increase your chances of not being affected by any algorithm changes, there are some steps that you can take to even your odds.

    How Can You Avoid the Google Panda Update & the Inevitable Algorithm Changes of Search Engines?
    The Google Panda Update was one of the biggest algorithm changes in web history thus far. That’s why many website owners are increasing their SEO budgets to make sure they can keep their SEO rankings, and not be affected by the update in a negative way. But, you should keep in mind that SEO is so unpredictable; the algorithm changes on a constant basis. What Google deems important for ranking today, may not hold any weight tomorrow. Luckily, there are steps that you can take to protect you from feeling the raft of Google Panda or any other change that the Search Engines decide to make. This all goes back to SEO basics. Here are a few steps you can take starting today:
    • Back to SEO Basics- The onsite factors of SEO include title tags, H1 tags, and Meta tags. You want to make sure all the tags have targeted keywords that tell the search engines what the page is about. This will help the search engines identify your pages and index them in the right category.

    • Backlinks-It’s no secret that backlinks are one of the most important elements of Search Engine Optimization. It’s crucial for you to obtain backlinks from high quality sites such as Universities and organizations. If you’re not able to get a link from an educational or organizational site, you should aim for obtaining a backlink from non-competing websites that complement your industry. For example, if you were an Auto Dealer, you would obtain links from an Auto Insurance agent, Auto Body Shops, and any site with a high PageRank that is related to the auto industry. This shows the search engines that your site is an authority on a certain topic.

    • Navigation- The user experience is also one of the most important elements of SEO. You want to make sure the Search Engines as well as human visitors can navigate your site with ease. This includes, but is not limited to Internal and external links, as well as site structure.

    • Content- Last, but definitely not least, content is arguably considered one of the most important aspects of SEO. After all, if you don’t have content to link to, there’s no point of SEO. When it comes to creating quality content for SEO, you have to make sure it’s unique, informative, entertaining, and grammatically correct. If you have trouble expressing your ideas, there are many content writers on sites like elance.com, and guru.com to help you come up with a creative content strateg

    SEO is constantly changing, and very unpredictable. It’s no surprise that Google and other search engines can and have made over 300 changes to their algorithms in a year. Unfortunately, many web owners don’t find out about the changes until they see a drop in their rankings. As long as you make sure you are providing quality content, obtaining high quality backlinks, and utilizing all of SEO best practices, you can increase your chances of keeping your Search engine rankings as well as increasing sales.

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