Back in the early days of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), ranking highly in the organic search engine listings was a straightforward exercise, as website pages only had to be optimised for phrases or keywords. However, when the Google Panda algorithm was rolled out, websites with no valuable content were heavily penalised, dropping off from the top listings in the organic search engine results. Created to crawl webpages and detect forms of spam, Panda penalised sites that added no benefit to the internet, especially in cases where those pages were ranking highly in the organic listings.
With the 25th Google Panda update expected imminently, we've been looking at a few ways to combat the algorithm to prevent your website from dropping off the face of the rankings planet.
So what can you do now and on an ongoing basis to ensure that your site is not penalised?
- Make the Most of Analytics - Using your Analytics tool of choice, identify pages that have very few visitors or contain little information; this could be a mark of poor quality in Google's eyes. Either add relevant information to the pages, or simply redirect visitors to pages with similar content.
- Do some Spring Cleaning - Watch out for broken links or empty pages that could be deemed as poor quality by Google.
- Keep your Visitors Entertained - Ensure that you're providing your visitors with valuable and up to date information; in our world that's the latest news in your sector fed to your website via RSS feed.
- Don't Clutter with Ads - If your website is filled with ads, it may be subjected to sharp panda claws! The key to avoid being penalised is to have obvious and engaging content as soon as your visitors land on the page, rather than greeting them with an abundance of adverts.
- Build pages Organically - By regularly blogging, you organically add pages to your site and provide your visitors with current and topical content.
- Avoid page Duplication and Purchased Links - Many websites that Panda comes down harshly on contain duplicate pages, created to target a very slight variation in keywords.
In light of Google's updates and increasing SEO competition in the legal market, we have developed our own range of SEO packages which cover everything from on page and off page optimisation, social bookmarks, Facebook posts, submission of guest blog posts, plus reporting and analysis to measure the success of ongoing SEO investment.