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SEO Tactics to tame the Panda

18 October 2011 BY

Daniel Bianchini who is a Senior SEO consultant at SEOptimise started with an update about Panda. Since Panda has rolled out in February but has run 5 times since February. He doesn’t foresee the end of Panda any time soon. He actually predicts a lot more Panda slaps in the future.

Google suggests evaluating all the content on your site and removing or moving all low quality content. Improving all the quality of pages across the site is also advised. Really good actions to evaluate low quality content involve analysing bounce and exit rate. Ask the question if people actually read this, is the content up to date? Is the content factually good content, is it stylistically correct? It’s is a factor of overall domain authority so it’s worth getting it right. Google has 23 quality questions that help to evaluate your content. Set this up as a survey and see what your visitors think.

Thin content is also an issue, less than 200 words is very thin content. You need to bulk this up with quality relevant content. The other option is to no-index them or simply 301 them to more relevant content.

Great ideas to create great content:

• Addictomatic – shows popular content from Twitter, Bing News, Google News and Google blog search for topics related to your keyword.
• Google external keyword tool – use the variations and the trends to create good phrase and topic ideas
• Ubersuggest – use it to get Google suggest topics.
• Q&A Platforms- Quora and Yahoo Answers provide great questions that you can target by answering it with good content.
• Use social media platforms- see what the YouTube suggest phrases are. You can tailor content that is great link bait.
• Use search parameters to find communities – Keyword + inurl:forum / Keyword + inurl:community will give you great communities that you can engage with to create great content

Other tasks that need to go on your TODO list

• Remove any duplicate content issues. Use Google Webmaster Tools to find duplicate title tags and duplicate meta tags.
• Reduce the amount of syndicated content used on the site
• Product feeds – create unique product descriptions
• Improve design and increase the content above the fold. These will help the user metrics.
• Social shares and deep page linking – don’t just link to your home page. Get deeper links and reap the benefits. Incorporate social shares on all pages making it easy for people to share your content.

Can Panda be defeated?

Daniel then shared a case study by SearchMetrics where they analysed HubPages and successfully implemented all of the above suggestions. One additional tactic that they used was to move the poor content onto a separate subdomain. This helped to avoid any collateral damage on the main domain.

Kevin Gibbons, also from SEOptimise continued how Affiliates can imitate a larger business

Business vs Affiliates – what’s the difference? Big businesses have avoided the Panda slap by acting as an authority so what are the differences?

• Businesses have a registered address – Google sees this as a trust element
• Businesses have a registered company – another trust factor with users
• Affiliates like to keep a very low profile – again a sign that it may not be trustworthy
• A business has staff whereas a small Affiliate has none
• A business generates media attention whereas an affiliate has to go out and build links in a natural looking way
• A business will have an active blog or news section providing thought leadership not just sales activity.
• An affiliate site often focuses on sales alone. There is not too much beyond that for Google to see quality content.

How do you imitate a business?

• Creativity – brainstorm some ideas, hire a PR agency, aim for local blogs or blogs in your niche or industry
• Pitch your best ideas to Journalists – Journalisted is a website that you can pitch your ideas to.
• Write stories which reporters are looking for – Use Haro to become a source for information for Journalists
• Learn about SEO – you don’t have to be a ninja. Learn about keyword research, content planning and onsite techniques
• Create a content strategy to target top converting keywords
• Hire copywriters to create great and unique content
• Remove low quality and duplicate content
• Build and manage online reputation via social media
• Build trust factors – Google trusted source was recently launched and they all help build trust with users
• Register a limited company
• Get a virtual office address there are many advantages and you can use these for Google Map listings. There are many suppliers of virtual offices around like
• Look for high quality bloggers – use jobs.problogger to find specialist bloggers to get you more coverage
• Use myblogguest to expand your blogging profile
• Participate in forums and blogs – don’t spam them, become active and engage
• Hire a professional designer – 99 designs will help you source a great designer. Professional sites get more links.
• Hire a developer – codemyconcept – psds to html for $50 a page
• Remote staffing for long term work
• Run a survey and collect data – Toluna helps you create surveys and you can share this as research. These can be shared as infographics.
This can cost as little as £2k setup and £480 a month so if you are taking affiliate seriously you can get by with this in the early stages.

The coverage of A4U Expo on State of Search in part made possible by a sponsoring from Majestic SEO who have the largest Link Intelligence database in Search. To get your free trial, give a card to this blogger or Bas van den Beld in person at the conference or drop us an e-mail.

AUTHORED BY:
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Louis Venter is the founding director and CEO of MediaVision, a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) company specialising in all areas of search. His particular interests are organic search marketing, paid search marketing, conversion strategy and online PR.

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