1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Google's Panda Update Still Got You Confused?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by Yukinari84, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. Yukinari84

    Yukinari84 Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,474
    Likes Received:
    4,665
    Occupation:
    I'm retired ;p
    Location:
    Somewhere in space...
    As we all know there have been a lot of new updates and changes within Google?s ranking algorithms lately aka their Panda/Farmer update.

    Some marketers were affected negatively, others were not affected at all and some actually even saw positive effects from the update.

    Google is always making updates constantly throughout the years, but a lot of marketers get "caught off-guard" because, honestly, they don?t do their due diligence and pay attention to Google and what they are doing.

    If you are not paying attention to Google now, I urge you to. Google essentially tells you everything you need to know beforehand, all you have to do is listen.

    But why does Google continually make all these updates?

    Honestly, it's actually very simple.

    All of Google's algorithm changes - past, present, and future - all have one key focal point behind it: Google's Corporate Mission - delivering the best quality of search results to their users. This is how they have captured, retained, and expanded their dominating hold on the search engine market and search market.

    If you are still in the dark or afraid of Google?s Panda update and how it affects you as an online marketer, I hope you will find the following information helpful.

    What Is Panda and Some Quick Panda History:

    - Originally released on Feb. 24, 2011 (ver 1.0)

    - Has had 3 more updates since the original release:
    - Panda Update 2.0 (April 11, 2011)
    - Panda Update 2.1 (May 10, 2011)
    - Panda Update 2.2 (June 16, 2011)
    - Panda is not really a new algorithm per se, but rather it?s basically another "overhaul" of their current ranking algorithm i.e. a new filter.

    - Google has designed Panda to effectively identify what it believes are low-quality pages, so that they can be removed from their search results and replaced by a site which Google deems as higher-quality and therefore, more relevant.

    - Here's what Panda does in a nutshell:

    - Panda takes a bunch of sites that people like more and a bunch of sites that people like less, grades the sites based on a number of different factors that deal with the site's trustworthiness, credibility, and quality, and then compares the difference.

    - So basically...Google takes all the sites that people like puts them together into ?Group A?. They do the same for the sites that people like less and put these in ?Group B?.

    - Then, they analyze a number of metrics about both groups? sites (these metrics are vast and would take literally forever for me to go over here, but the important thing to remember is that they are all heavily influenced by user and usage data metrics) and essentially find the sites that people like more and the ones that people like less.

    - Finally, they downgrade the sites that are liked less, and upgrade the ones that are like more resulting in more relevant and optimized SERPs for their users.​


    How does this affect you as a search engine marketer?

    First off, for those that are still stuck on the whole ?All-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful? view of Google, I urge you to stop that way of thinking because it is only detrimental to your business.

    Plain and simply put, Google is just a machine. Yes, it?s a powerful machine that is constantly growing, learning and becoming more powerful, but the bottom line is that at the end of the day, Google is still just a machine. It only knows what you allow it to know, so keep that mind.

    In my honest opinion, Panda is just another indicator of the direction that Google is taking as far as SEO is concerned.

    As an online marketer who relies on SEO for making money, you are probably used to doing your keyword research, creating a site, posting good keyword content, making it accessible to the search engines, and then trying to get backlinks, rankings, and traffic to that site?all the traditional SEO stuff.

    This is all still good practice, but you need to start digging deeper if you want your business to survive and flourish. Just traditional SEO alone is not going to be enough anymore because Google is not just looking at that stuff anymore.

    You need to focus not just on traditional SEO practices, but you need to focus on your targeted audience, visitors to your site, and more importantly, the overall experience your site will deliver to those visitors.

    Here are a few key things that I recommend you focus on and add to your SEO regime.

    1. Site Design and User Experience.

    The good SEO marketers that I know have been practicing site design that promotes a positive user experience for years. This is because it has so many positive effects e.g. more people linking to your site, more people contributing content to your site, generating positive social signals like bookmarks, shares, tweets, etc ., and many more similar positive secondary effects. Guess what? All of these are factors that the Panda update is designed to look for.

    Some Site Design Tips:

    - Have a clean and simple design; avoid unnecessary clutter.
    - Avoid putting too many ads on your site or over-selling on your site.
    - Use images and videos.
    - Optimize the loading speed of your site and pages.
    - Provide easy navigation throughout your site and a solid internal linking structure.​

    2. Yes, Content Is Still King:

    Having good content on your sites is more important now than ever. I?m not talking about the typical ?search-engine food? you see on so many ?standard? affiliate sites these days.

    If you are focusing on content just for the search engines, I highly recommend you stop. It is not enough. Panda is designed to recognize which content is written for real readers, and which content is written just for SEO purposes.

    Your content should make your readers want to share it, want to bookmark your site?it should be ?sticky? e.g. it should draw people back to your site.

    You absolutely must think about your readers. In this industry, we hear ?Put yourself in the mind of your targeted audience" all the time. This is more important now than ever.

    Some Content Tips:
    - Focus on creating content that is engaging for your readers.
    - Add images into your content.
    - Make sure your content is free of grammar and spelling errors​
    .

    3. Tracking User Metrics and Usage.

    With Panda, Google is trying to sort out the best sites to display to their users, which means they are looking at a lot of things that traditional SEO marketers tend to ignore. For example:

    - Do people spend a good amount of time on your site, or do they go away immediately when they come to your site? (bounce rate)
    - If users are staying on your site, how long?
    - How many pages deep are visitors to your site browsing?
    - Your click-through rate from the search results to your site.
    - The diversity of traffic that comes to your site.
    - The quantity of traffic that comes to your site.
    - How many users to your site are new versus return visitors.​

    Final Thoughts:

    I hope that you can find this information valuable. To be honest, this is just a small piece of the puzzle when it comes to dealing with the latest SEO changes, but they are some of the main key factors that affect rankings.

    By paying attention to the areas I have pointed out above and making the necessary changes where needed, you will be putting yourself in a much better position than those that are not paying attention or making an effort to change.

    Finally, if you are using Google as your main vehicle for getting traffic to your sites, I cannot stress the importance enough of spending the time to learn about them. It may sound boring and time-consuming, but I can assure it's worth it 1000 times in the long run.

    If you have any questions, please post them here and I will do my best to answer them as best as I can.

    Yukinari
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 63
  2. ksy213

    ksy213 Power Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    152
    Thanks for writing this information down! Very useful
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. IamNRE

    IamNRE Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    4,663
    Likes Received:
    7,108
    Occupation:
    Generate Leads With FB Ads For Just $1
    Home Page:
    Welcome back.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. CoyoteAssassin

    CoyoteAssassin Elite Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,862
    Likes Received:
    3,906
    Occupation:
    Full Time IMer
    Location:
    USA
    Good stuff.

    I've been doing IM for a while but not directly related to SEO. I saw the questions about "Panda" earlier and ignored them but decided to click on this one - glad I did.

    Thanks for the update and community contributions.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  5. cody41

    cody41 Power Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    682
    Likes Received:
    274
    Location:
    Texas
    Good stuff Yuki, I'd also add that some very viable ranking factors for how well a site does in the serps is dependent upon the buzz generated with twitter/facebook/myspace communications that go back and forth. Generate the web 2.0 buzz and I can guarantee that your site will benefit.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  6. Yukinari84

    Yukinari84 Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,474
    Likes Received:
    4,665
    Occupation:
    I'm retired ;p
    Location:
    Somewhere in space...
    Thank you for sharing.

    This was going to be something I brought up in the next update, but I'm glad you pointed this out.

    Yes, Google is putting a lot more weight when ranking pages into social factors like you described, and I believe it will only increase as time goes on.

    This is why focusing on creating sites with user-focused content is very important. If your content is something your visitors love, the buzz will follow.:)
     
  7. WROMERO

    WROMERO Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2010
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    17
    Good information! Thanks!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  8. SEO20

    SEO20 Elite Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    2,017
    Likes Received:
    2,259
    The CB king is back ;-)
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  9. secretboy08

    secretboy08 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Messages:
    2,370
    Likes Received:
    877
    Occupation:
    Internet marketer
    Location:
    Global Citizen
    so thats what you have been doing all these weeks(i actually knew you were cracking it).welcome back.i used to visit your profile for these gems and finally i got what i was waiting for.thanks.rep given.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  10. nossie

    nossie Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    235
    Great Yuki :)

    I'm testing alot of stuff to get a copy/paste ranking method that is really scalable again as I used to have before the panda update. I'ts still possible to rank high with some automated methods :)

    Some more tips:

    1) reduce bouncerate on your sites
    2) remove/nofollow/noindex thin and crappy low quality pages on your sites
    3) increase CTR in the serps (E.g use crazy call to actions and stuff in your page titles)
    4) provide more value on your site (increase users onpage time)
    5) interlink your website with proper anchor texts
    6) use a privacy policy, about us, contact us, google maps location, SSL, address/phone number, images, subtiles, paragraphs, bulletpoints etc etc (all "possible" added quality factors you can think of)
    7) Get links that generate TRAFFIC (and not only serve as a link)
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  11. NapsteR

    NapsteR Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Messages:
    2,779
    Likes Received:
    2,374
    Occupation:
    Full Time IMer
    Location:
    http://www.seophd.com
    Great post.. Yuki.. thanks for sharing..
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  12. felixgoh

    felixgoh Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    57
    This definitely serves as a reminder to me. Do you think building a larger site is a trend now to go instead of small 5-10 posts site? To me it seems that Google are giving favor to larger sites that got over 100 posts which makes me think that this is the direction we should be heading now.
     
  13. sercon

    sercon Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    182
    Location:
    OverTheRainbow
    Just what i was looking for ! Thanks and rep added :D
     
  14. Gozpy

    Gozpy Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    64
    Seems like a lot of SEOMoz rambling...
    - Good luck with the copywriting.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  15. Theodore

    Theodore Power Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Messages:
    679
    Likes Received:
    266
    Thank you for the information Yukinari84 :)

    Just a quick question about Panda, i know content is king and it always has been especially onsite content. But what i was wondering is offsite content e.g. web 2.0 posts for say linkwheels, does Panda take a good look at this content? Or can you get away with a bit of duplicate content here and there if you get me.
    As we all know getting a lot of articles is a big pain if you dont have the money.

    Thanks :)
     
  16. umairsheikh2002

    umairsheikh2002 BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    419
    Likes Received:
    235
    Yuki is back, now its time to read some interesting facts :)
     
  17. Yukinari84

    Yukinari84 Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,474
    Likes Received:
    4,665
    Occupation:
    I'm retired ;p
    Location:
    Somewhere in space...

    Thanks for the contribution.:)

    Automation is still as alive as ever, and anyone who says automation tools are dead probably had a hard time with before the update.

    The same rules apply as before with automation tools, so if you know how to use them properly, you should be fine.

    That is one of the main reasons I like to keep on top of everything that is going on so that I can play around with my automation tools and see how far I can push the limits.:D

    Smaller sites still can and do rank fairly easily. The key is to make sure your content and site are something your visitors will find useful.


    While some of the main article directories and Web 2.0 sites took a hit with the recent updates, that doesn't mean they aren't useful.

    Some of them like EZA don't rank as well in Google anymore, but they are still great for backlinks and some traffic.

    But using web 2.0 sites, article directories, and all the other basic stuff is still great for backlinks, direct traffic, suing as buffer sites, getting varied links etc...
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  18. Longover

    Longover Power Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    347
    Here is my tip of the day in beating Panda:
    A) Install a service like GetClicky analytics or another service that lets you track bounce rate and time on site
    B) Monitor your stats for a few days
    C) If you're seeing low time on site and high bounce rates, then make changes...
    -Add something to your front page to make the visitor stay longer:
    --> video
    --> better/more relevant content

    Basically put yourself in the shoes of the visitor and figure out what you would want to see on the site.

    Thanks for sharing your tips Yukinari
     
  19. Yukinari84

    Yukinari84 Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,474
    Likes Received:
    4,665
    Occupation:
    I'm retired ;p
    Location:
    Somewhere in space...
    Thanks for the contribution.

    I personally use Clicky for all my tracking purposes, but for those of you that want a free solution, Google's own Analytics is really good and getting better.

    I don't prefer to use GA for a few reasons, but for those of you need a free solution, it should do fine.
     
  20. Money Man

    Money Man Elite Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    751
    Occupation:
    Internet Marketer, Advertisement, Programmer, SEO
    WOW! Awesome post man! Thanks and +REP given!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1