It competence be a new year, though that hasn’t stopped Google from rolling out yet another Panda refresh.
Last year Google unleashed a most assertive debate of vital algo updates ever in a electioneer to conflict arrange spam. This year looks to be some-more of a same.
Since Panda first strike a stage dual years ago, thousands of sites have been mauled. SEO forums are dirty with site owners who have seen 6 figure income websites and their whole livelihoods evaporate overnight, mostly given they didn’t take Panda seriously.
If your site is guilty of transgressions that competence incite a Panda and we haven’t been strike yet, cruise yourself lucky. But know that it’s usually a matter of time before we do get mauled. No doubt about it: Panda is entrance for you.
Over a past year, we’ve helped a series of site owners redeem from Panda. We’ve also worked with existent clients to Panda-proof their websites and (knock on wood) haven’t had a singular site tumble plant to Panda.
Based on that what we’ve schooled saving and securing sites, I’ve pulled together a list of stairs and actions to assistance site owners Panda-proof websites that competence be during risk.
Step 1: Purge Duplicate Content
Duplicate calm issues have always tormented websites and SEOs. But with Panda, Google has taken a dramatically opposite proceed to how they perspective and provide sites with high degrees of transcribe content. Where fool calm issues pre-Panda competence harm a sold square of content, now duplicate calm will penetrate an whole website.
So with that change in attitude, site owners need to take transcribe calm seriously. You contingency be hawkish about cleaning adult transcribe calm issues to Panda-proof your site.
Some suggestions for fixing fool calm issues include:
- Meta directives (e.g. noindex, follow).
- Canonical tags (rel=“canonical”).
- 301 redirects.
- Block pages around Robots.txt file.
- Remove URLs via Webmaster Tools.
- Choose your elite domain in Webmaster Tools.
Now, cleaning adult existent transcribe calm issues is critical. But it’s usually as vicious to take a medicine measures as well. This means, addressing a base means of your transcribe calm issues before they finish adult in a index. Yoast offers some great suggestions on how to equivocate transcribe calm issues altogether.
Step 2: Eradicate Low Quality, Low Value Content
Google’s design with Panda is to assistance users find “high-quality” sites by abating a prominence (ranking power) of low-quality content, all of that is achieved during scale, algorithmically. So weeding out low value calm should be goal vicious for site owners.
But a million dollar doubt we hear all a time is “what constitutes ‘low quality’ content?”
Google offered guidance on how to asses page-level quality, that is useful to assistance beam your editorial roadmap. But what about sites that horde hundreds or thousands of pages, where evaluating any page by palm isn’t even remotely unsentimental or cost-effective?
A many some-more picturesque proceed for incomparable sites is to demeanour during user rendezvous signals that Google is potentially regulating to brand low-quality content. These would embody pivotal behavioral metrics such as:
- Low to no visits.
- Anemic singular page views.
- Short time on page.
- High bounce rates.
Of course, these metrics can be rather loud and receptive to outmost factors, though they’re a many fit proceed to sniff-out out low value calm during scale.
Some ways we can understanding with these low value and bad behaving pages include:
- Deleting any calm with low to no user rendezvous signals.
- Consolidating a calm of skinny or shoal pages into thicker, some-more useful papers (i.e., “purge and merge).”
- Adding additional inner links to urge caller rendezvous (and deeper indexation). Tip: make certain these inner links prove to high-quality calm on your site.
One additional form of low peculiarity calm that mostly gets ignored is pagination. Proper pagination is rarely effective during distributing integrate equity via your site. But high ratios of paginated archives, comments and tab pages can also intermix your site’s yield budget, means indexation top issues and negatively tip a beam of high-to low-value calm ratios on your site.
Tips for Panda-proofing pagination include:
- “No index, follow” paginated pages.
- Tag paginated calm with “rel=prev” and “rel=next” to prove documents in a sequence.
Step 3: Thicken-Up Thin Content
Google hates skinny content. And this contempt isn’t indifferent for spammy scraper sites or skinny affiliates only. It’s also destined during sites with small or no strange calm (i.e., another form of “low value” content).
One of a riskiest calm forms we see frequently on customer sites are skinny directory-style pages. These are sum feed pages you’d find on ecommerce product pages (both page turn and difficulty level); sites with city, state and ZIP formula office form pages (think hotel and transport sites); and eventuality plcae listings (think sheet brokers). And many sites horde thousands of these page types, that other than a large list of hyperlinks have zero-to-no content.
Unlike other low-value calm traps, these office pages are mostly instrumental in site usability and assisting users navigate to deeper content. So deletion them or merging them isn’t an option.
Instead, a best plan here is to thicken adult these skinny office pages with strange content. Some recommendations include:
- Drop a thousand difference of original, value-add calm on a page in an bid to provide any page as a extensive beam on a specific topic.
- Pipe in API information and calm mash-ups (excellent when we need to thicken hundreds or thousands of pages during scale).
- Encourage user reviews.
- Add images and videos.
- Move skinny pages off to subdomains, that Google hints at. Though we use this is as some-more of a “stop gap” proceed for sites that have been mauled by Panda and are perplexing to miscarry quickly, rather than a long-term, tolerable strategy.
It’s value observant that these recommendations can be practical to many forms of skinny calm pages. I’m usually regulating office character pages as an instance given we see them so often.
When it comes to finding skinny calm issues during scale, take a demeanour during word count. If you’re using WordPress, there are a integrate of plugins we can use to asses word count for any request on your site:
As well, here are some all-purpose plugin recommendations to assistance in a war opposite Panda.
All in all, we’re saying papers that have been thickened adult get a good boost in rankings and SERP visibility. And this isn’t boost isn’t a temporal QDF bump. In a infancy of cases, when thickening adult skinny pages, we’re saying permanent ranking improvements over aspirant pages.
Step 4: Develop High-Quality Content
On a flipside of regulating low or no-value calm issues, we contingency adopt an proceed of only edition a top peculiarity calm on your site. For many sites, this is a sum change in mindset, though nonetheless lifting your calm edition standards is essential to Panda-proofing your site.
Google describes “quality content” as “content that we can send to your child to learn something.” Which is a small deceptive though to me it says dual graphic things:
- Your calm should be rarely informative.
- Your calm should easy to know (easy adequate that a child can sense it).
For a unequivocally in-depth demeanour during “What Google Considers Quality Content,” check out Brian Ussery’s excellent analysis.
When edition calm on a possess sites, we ask ourselves a few elementary peculiarity control questions:
- Does this calm offer value?
- Is this calm we would share with others?
- Would we integrate to this calm as an ominous resource?
If a square of calm doesn’t accommodate these simple criteria, we work to urge it until it does.
Now, when it comes to edition peculiarity content, many site owners don’t have a good happening of carrying industry experts in house and inner essay resources during their disposal. In those cases, we should cruise outsourcing your calm era to a pros.
Some of a many effective ways we use to find professional, lawful authors include:
- Placing an ad on Craigslist and control a “competition.” Despite what a critics say, this routine works unequivocally and we can find some excellent, cost-effective talent. “How to Find Quality Freelance Authors on Craigslist” will travel we by a process.
- Reaching out to successful writers in your niche with columns on high form pubs. Most of these folks do freelance work and are fervent to take on new projects. You can find these folks with hunt operators like [intitle:“your product nice” intext:“meet a bloggers”] or [intitle:“your product nice” intext: “meet a authors”] given many blogs tell an author’s form page.
- Targeting published authors on Amazon.com is a illusory proceed to find successful authors who have knowledge essay on topics in your niche.
Apart from addressing essay apparatus deficiencies, a advantages of employing subject experts or published authors include:
- Authoritative authors lift a viewed value of your content.
- You can precedence authorship certification on Google+.
- Author profiles arrangement in a SERP snippets, and can improve CTR and assistance users find good content.
- AuthorRank! It competence not be a ranking vigilance usually yet, though it will be.
- Authorship rendezvous and compensation that may minister to AuthorRank.
- Higher rendezvous levels lead to longer clicks vs a brief clicks. And we have to assume “time on page/site” is a vigilance Google pays courtesy to.
Finally, we wanted to residence a emanate of magnitude and edition peculiarity content. Ask yourself this: are we edition calm bland on your blog, infrequently twice a day? If so, ask yourself “why?”
Is it given we review on a renouned selling blog that cranking out blog posts any and any day is a good proceed to aim trending topics and renouned terms, and inundate a index with calm that will arrange in hundreds of applicable mid-tail verticals?
If this is your approach, we competence wish to rethink it. In fact, I’d disagree that 90 percent of sites that use this plan should delayed down and publish better, longer, meatier calm reduction frequently.
In a competition to “publish any day!!!” you’re potentially polluting a SERPs with quick, thin, low value posts and boring down a altogether peculiarity measure of your whole site. So if we tumble into this camp, really stop and cruise about your approach. Test a efficiency of fewer, thicker posts vs short-form “keyword chasing” articles.
Panda-Proofing Wrap Up
Bottom line: get your site in-shape before it’s too late. Why risk being receptive to any Panda update, when Armageddon is wholly avoidable.
The SEO and associate forums are dirty with site owners who continue to use a same low value strategy in annoy of a transparent dangers given they were inexpensive and they worked. But demeanour during those sites now. Don’t make a same mistake.
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