Okay, so it all started in February 2011, when the giant Google rolled out first of its kind of algorithm change in its search engine, which altered the way we used to search and get things on Google. Later that year, Google kept on releasing similar updates to bring out the best search engine experience for Google users all around the world. That is not all, Panda updates were later lead by Google’s Penguin updates, Freshness Updates and other minute changes to the search engine. Such changes to the search engine altered they way Google used to index web-pages, and a lot of major websites lost their rankings worldwide. Some online businesses were shut down, and for the matter of fact these updates created ~3% unemployment across the world. While Google keeps on releasing similar updates once a while, over the past one year I tried to figure out what Google actually expects us to deliver.
Google has been consistent in releasing Panda updates over this year, and more are yet to come. If you are observing sharp decline or rise in traffic, do not panic, it’s just another Panda Update. By now, there is one simple rule which surfaces when talking about Google’s algorithm updates- Someone’s loss is someone’s gain. Where you would be observing around 50% decline in organic traffic, someone else would be observing 50% rise in his/her organic traffic. It is a time when you can not really publish anything on the web and get ranked for that in search engines. The competition now is tougher, and you really need to follow some guidelines religiously, in order to save yourself from Google’s Algorithm changes.
Were you hit by Google’s recent Panda Update ? Here are some quick tips based on webmasters experience worldwide. Follow them religiously if you want to recover from the impact of Google’s Panda Update.
Tips To Recover From Google Panda Update
LOW QUALITY CONTENT- GET RID OF THEM
When Google rolled out its first Panda Update in 2011, it left webmasters wondering what it was, and after a lot of research work it was made clear that low quality and copied content was the reason why ~30% of the websites worldwide were affected by Panda Update. Google still follows the same concept and the focus lays on producing high quality content when someone performs a search on Google. When you publish an article, ask a few questions to yourself. Is the article ready to be published in a magazine? Does it really provide all correct information? And lastly, would a 10-year old understand what this article tries to convey?
Matt Cutts from Google once said:
“If your 10-year old son or daughter gets to learn something from an article, then Google will consider it high quality content”
Now how to get rid of low-quality content is the question. There are two possible ways out to get rid of low quality content on your website. The first one being, start updating your old blog posts and bring them up to Google’s quality standards. The process is time consuming, but trust me, in the longer run you are going to thank me for this.
The second alternative is to add a “noindex” tag to your older pages and then make a URL removal request in Google’s WebMaster Tools. I would not really recommend you to go for this step since it will reduce the content density on your blog. Updating older blog posts is always the best idea.
CHECK BROKEN LINKS
Before Google rolled out its first Panda Update, most of the webmasters did not focus on the aspect of broken links. Broken links are generally branches from your website which lead to nowhere, giving a 404 Not Found error in the end. Broken Links can intensely damage your site structure by flagging your blog or website in the eyes of Google.
If you are using WordPress platform on your blog, fortunately you can install the Broken Links Checker plugin on your blog which will keep you updated with the link structure on your website.
IMPROVE PAGE SPEED
The concept of page speed surfaced last year when Google started to rank websites according to their page speed. A dedicated performance tab was added to Google’s Webmaster Tools to give you an indication of where your website stands in front of websites all over the world. Lower the page speed, better will be your website performance in eyes of Google.
To check your page loading speed, you can refer to my favorite tool GTMetrix which also tells you areas where you can improve upon. On WordPress, we recommend using W3 Total Cache plugin which will help you reduce the page loading speed exponentially. Alternatively, if you want a step ahead, you can opt in for CDN (Content Delivery Network).
One of the most important steps is link building for your blog. Backlinks are like votes for the content on your blog by other websites. Google not only considers quality content. It also needs to make sure that the content on your blog is actually genuine. It is then when backlinks come into action. They are the vote banks for your website or blog. More the backlinks, more will be your blogs reputation. Every backlink counts, so it is always a good idea to get a backlink from any website rather than not having any.
Guest posting is a good way of generating quality backlinks for your website. It not only expands your reach socially, but also creates valid votes back to your website, which is what counts when you want to recover from Google’s Panda Updates.
SOCIAL MEDIA EXISTENCE
It’s a time when Google focuses more on the social media reach of your blog. It is very important now-days to have good social network reputation for your blog.
You can implement social share buttons on your blog, create follow-up pages on Facebook, Google+ etc, and make sure your content actually gets shared. Alternatively, you can provide incentives to your readers for sharing content on social networks if you are not good with the normal way.
These were some handy tips to recover from Google’s ongoing Panda Updates. Follow them up religiously, and I am sure you will witness changes in your blog traffic with time. Let us know your views via the comments section below. For more, keep subscribed!