The Panda update, that Google has named to its latest change in the algorithm of ranking websites and showing them on the SERPs, has affected the way websites perform on search engines and many website rankings have been effected. Many bloggers have been talking about this, since Google showed it’s first effect many days back, and now after the algorithm has finally got into action, bloggers have been reporting about the rankings changes, which in the end shows an effect on their ad earnings too. According to Google, this update is to remove all the low-quality content pages which are mostly the copy of others, or have a lesser information than some others which are now ranked higher. There are many glitches in the update, where sites with almost no content are ranking better than a few that have everything related to what is being searched. But that’s Google and it has it’s own rules. Here is a list of websites affected by Google Panda Update.
As always said, everything isn’t lost if your blog or website has been very much affected by the Panda Update, as you can still bounce back if you use certain good tactics and follow the guidelines that are laid by the Google webmaster team. Apart from that, you may also follow the below steps to recover from the effect of the Panda Algorithm Update of Google –
Google Webmaster Guidelines
Follow these guidelines always. Google isn’t a human to explain each and every webmaster on what mistakes they are committing, so you need to check the webmaster guidelines and have your website or blog optimized in that way, or else you would be automatically affected. The overall quality of the web pages should be improved, with more content, less outbound linking and removing the low quality pages. If you are worried about removing the pages as you might have worked hard to write them, at least try to preserve your website rankings by shifting those low quality pages to any new domain rather than deleting them entirely. According to what a few webmasters report, SEO for content is not that useful now. Google has become smarter according to them, in checking which content is better to be ranked higher, not relying on the SEO tactics.
Remove the duplicates
Duplicates are the one that mainly change the quality of the website / blog. You unintentionally have many duplicate pages in the form of categories/tags where the same posts are displayed as are the single posts. You should get rid of that, by placing the robots.txt for those pages, so that they don’t get indexed in search engines and don’t count as duplicate content.
Find the affected pages
Using tools like analytics, you can find out the effect on various pages and find out which pages were very much hit by the search engines. Work on those pages, check what may have led to their drop of rankings. If there is any duplicate content, rewriting them would be the best rather than totally removing them. Google is strict about linking too, so you should check about the outbound links and their quality.
Try to find the least quality pages in your blog or website, and if you have something similar in the site on other pages, you should consider redirecting these low quality pages to those higher quality ones and reduce the fraction of pages that are not worth being in the website.
Avoid Content Scraping
Few bloggers feel that sharing other’s blog posts in their blogs is a fashion and looks good. But what they do is add a few lines of other’s post along with the source links, leaving nothing original in the shared post. This entire post is a way of content scraping, and doing this affects the entire blog a lot. You need to avoid it, unless there is a necessity of sharing those links and posts.
Avoid Overdoing things
Some webmasters try to play with the tactics such that things hit back the other way round. Meta tags such as the Meta Keywords are used in excess, which indirectly is called keyword spamming. Others try to build links in a blackhat way, or in a frequency that alarms Google in a negative way. These tricks not just would reduce the rankings, but might also lead to Google penalizing the website.
Money making niche and ads
In quite a few webmaster forums, it is reported many a times that the money making niche websites usually have more ads and lesser content, with an intention of making more money with it. According to Google, these are the low quality content pages which don’t get a higher ranking until they are of any good use. Being in such niche isn’t a wrong thing, but you need to maintain the quality to rank higher.
Websites with flash
This was already a known fact to everyone that the flash content is not easily read by the Google bots, and it cannot decide the quality of the pages that are full of flash content, although it may be some useful content. That is how Google works, and you have to follow it. Static content is well read and indexed when compared to flash. Get rid of flash if you want to expect something better in the SERPs.
Photos and Videos aren’t enough
There are thousands of websites and blogs which used to rank well, by still having just photo and video galleries in them. SEO was what brought their rankings. But most of them now lost the rankings. Reason? Lack of content. Try to include content to each photo page, relevant to that picture and that would surely help the pages get better in rankings.
Keep the rhythm going
Social media stays the same, so if your website is affected a lot in search engine rankings, you can keep the rhythm of traffic going with the sharing in the social sites like Facebook, Twitter and bookmarking sites like Digg etc.
Lastly, once you follow the above steps, try submitting your website or blog to the Google Webmaster Central again for reconsideration, and the team would check if you are good enough now to be given importance as given earlier. You can’t expect anything very soon, but let it take time, the results are more important. If lucky, you might be bouncing back to the normal rankings as before, pretty soon!