Google Panda 4.1 Dos and Don’ts!
Not sure what to do to stay out of the way of the big nasty Google Panda? Then you’ve landed on the right page.
Below are a number of ways in which the Panda algorithmic update judges your website.
Stick to these Do’s and Don’ts and you’ll be on the right track towards better rankings!
Ensure Task Completion:
Google gauges and tracks how well users interact with your site. Whatever task is intended to be completed on your webpage, it is crucial that you make it as easy as possible for users to complete this task.
For example if users are looking to sign up through a form for a phone call back, or a consultation, you want the page to load quickly within 2 or 3 seconds and the form to be easily accessible above the fold.
What you don’t want to happen is users do not find what they are looking for and end up clicking back to Google and looking for another website to browse. What this tells Google is that your website did not supply that user with the information they were looking for and that your site should not be ranking high for the keyword that user typed in (and perhaps semantically similar keywords).
Have Various Off-Site References
For your site to be seen as being relevant and prominent in your sector, it is important that your website is mentioned or referred to off-site. You might have the best content in the world, but if no one is talking about it, or citing it in any way, Google may not see it as being relevant. Who is talking about your site is also a factor; if your site is being talked about other experts in your field, mentioned on their Twitter feed, or on their Facebook page, then this is more influential than if buzz around your site is coming from less prominent individuals/ websites.
You should have backlinks to your site from other related websites that rank for relevant keywords. Similar to the off-site references, if your site is highly relevant in its sector then it should be mentioned by other relevant websites in the same sector, and these websites should be linking to you! Hopefully they are mentioning you in a positive light, and not a negative one, as that could possibly be a problem going forward!
If your website provides a service or sells a product then it is important to have reviews on websites like Yelp, Zagat, Google+, Better Business Bureau, Wikipedia etc. Of course it’s better to have good reviews, but what this tells Google is that your website is relevant in your sector.
Display Business Information
On every page, users should be able to see your business address, phone number, and email address. This information should not be difficult to find and presented genuinely. Added to this, you should display your mission company’s mission statement and it should seem as though you are a reputable and easily contactable business. It’s useful to make sure that your company number and copyright information is clearly presented.
Don’t Produce “SEO” Content
The time for producing keyword stuffed content has passed. Writing a page or article that doesn’t serve any purpose other to rank for a keyword and does not benefit users who are browsing on your website in anyway will not benefit you. Content should be created for the purpose of benefiting the user, helping them to achieve or learn something. For example if you run a Texas law firm, you don’t need a different page for each of the locations you work in and want to attract customers from, i.e. a page on each of the following: Houston Law Firm, Dallas Law Firm, etc etc. This doesn’t benefit the user and ultimately is unlikely to benefit the rankings of your website.
You don’t need to update your blog every day, just so Google sees that you are regularly producing fresh content. Create content because you feel as though your visitors will enjoy it. If you don’t feel like you have anything worth-while to deliver to your visitors one week, then you shouldn’t feel compelled to write something for the sake of pleasing Google.
This is something that has been repeated time and time again, but you want to make sure that your site does not contain any spelling or grammar errors and that your code is in-line. You might benefit also from citing all of your sources and making sure that you are seen to be giving credit to those whose content you are benefiting from. Google claim to have quality algorithms that check to see if your site is delivering well written content, so it pays to make sure that you are crossing all of your Ts.
Use of Ads
Using ads or pop-ups on your website can be a good revenue generator, but as far as Google is concerned these inhibit the use of your website. Having well placed ads on your site may not negatively affect your rankings, especially if this is commonly done by other webmasters in your niche, but overall the use of ads is going to be a negative ranking factor for your website.
As Google do not officially publish the factors which they use to determine rankings in the search results we cannot be 100% sure on the effect each of the factors above plays. However as many of these factors work toward improving the user experience, they have a direct immediate positive affect on the visitors of your website even if they do not help your website to rank by appeasing Google’s latest algorithmic updates.