Recently webmasters were troubled again by that eternal question – what does Google regard as good content – when the Panda was unleashed, an update that made a massive impact on the web.
This algorithm “tweak” ostensibly aimed at eliminating so called content farms, affected one out of nine searches in the United States and a full 12 percent of sites on the Web.
According to Google, this new algorithm improves overall search quality, as it mainly went after content farms and aggregator/spam sites. These sites were bottom of the barrel types, short articles no better than ads, written with poor quality language skills and scraped from other sites.
However, because of the details of the Panda update, some very high-quality sites were lumped together with the content farms. And to add insult to injury, most of these small businesses are responsible for their own SEO on their sites and have no idea how to fix it!
But according to the experts, the predictions are not as bleak for web writers as it seemed at first. Memeburn explains that there are a few things that you need to keep in mind for this Panda algorithm change is really not as complex as you might think. “If you know about the Terms of Service used by Google’s Adsense program then you do have a very good idea of what needs to happen.”
Keeping Google Happy
It is not hard to keep Google happy:
• Avoid spammy links
• Keep those links of high quality ask low quality sites to take down their links
• Cultivate backlinks from very high-quality and reputable sites in your niche
• Register with directories with well-chosen keywords.
• Get a blog. Blogs are one of the best ways to keep your site fresh and continually updated with new content.
• Quality of the content – it is better to focus on the ‘less is more’ concept.
• Focus on high quality, rich content about a topic on which you have or can hire expertise.
• Avoid posting content just to get traffic for ads.
• Make ads sparse and they have more impact to the visitor.
• Make sure the title tags of your page match the content; i.e. do not ‘trick’ Google.
• Keyword stuffing is really bad and will enrage the panda
• Share value on social media sites
None of this is rocket science. It is good, clean, basic Web writing. But people get greedy and they somehow want to try to squeeze every penny they can out of their traffic.
Remember For Whom You Are Writing
The important thing to remember for any writer is always to keep their audience in mind. Who are you writing for? Is this article something that belongs on my blog or website?
Then write a great article. Do not repost other material – Google likes original high quality material.
Share Value on Social Media
But if you have lost a bit of traffic due to the Panda, you can always up your efforts on the Social Media front. Clean up your site and while you are waiting for your traffic to come back, you will need some instant page views to patch it up. What better way to get instant traffic than social media?
Advertise in Facebook, blast links in Twitter, start conversations, run contest campaigns, work your Facebook Page; revisit all your old haunts like Stumbleupon and Digg. These are what we call ‘work’ but it can hook you some serious traffic if you are doing things right.
About the Author:
Karen Lotter tutors the Writing for the Web Course at The Writers’ College. Karen is a journalist and writer, and runs a company (http://www.ethekwiniweb.co.za/) specializing in creating websites, writing creative and interesting content and optimizing sites for search engines.
She has written profiles, features, advertising copy, obituaries, press releases, and columns in magazines, company newsletters and newspapers, and written and produced corporate scripts.
Since she stopped writing political speeches (after 13 years in the trenches), she has focused on writing for the web and presenting workshops on communications-related issues. She is a Feature Writer at Suite 101.com (http://www.suite101.com/profile.cfm/ethekwinigirl).