How to Destroy Your SEO in a Post-Panda World

I read this great post titled “How to Destroy Your SEO in a Post-Panda World”.
The post is by  Dave Clarke on HubSpot’s blog.  It’s one of the best overviews I’ve read on how Google’s Panda algorithm update changed SEO and what you can do as a marketer to stay on Google’s good side.

Here’s a short summary of the article.   If you have the time read the whole whole article by clicking here.

Before Panda

Content factories, flooded the web with new content containing the search terms people used most often, you basically out-Googled Google.  It didn’t matter, whether the content was good or bad, relevant or irrelevant, or for that matter, even coherent. Just by sheer volume alone, you would overwhelm (although spam might be a more-appropriate word) the search engines.

Users complained in the most effective way they could—by taking their search queries to the competition: Bing and Yahoo! Google noticed and implemented Panda.

After PandaKUNG FU PANDA

As revenue slipped away to competitors, Google addressed the problem by tweaking its search algorithm.When the full-blown version of Panda was released in April 2011, the content factories might as well have been attacked by Godzilla instead of a panda.  Independent analysts clocked the decline in visibility on Page 1 and subsequent search result pages at between 66% and 80%.

Today: Content is king, but relevance rules.

So given all this How do you kill your SEO in 3 Easy Steps

Step 1. Post content that is of little to no value, off-topic, or boring. The content mills were living proof that the content you post, whether to your website, blog, Facebook page, or other channels, must be meaningful to customers clicking through to your web pages.

Step 2. Post content too infrequently. Web content, and especially mobile web content, is often time-sensitive. You need to post more frequently to get noticed and stay noticed in search results.

Even when the information itself is still accurate, search engines factor in how old the content is when deciding which search results to deliver. So, even an educational website will improve its SEO by adding new content once or twice a week.

Step 3. Post content with too few keywords or the wrong keywords. Remember, keywords are at the heart of what search engines do. If the keywords your customers and prospect use to search for your business don’t appear in your content often enough or high enough on the page, you risk not getting found by Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Still, using keywords requires a delicate touch: more of an art than a science. Use enough keywords to get found, not so many of the same ones over and over used in the same way that you risk alienating readers because the content is redundant and search engines see it as keyword stuffed.

Marketing Takeaway

Inbound marketing and getting found on Google may require a new approach from the days of pushing ads out to prospects, but in the end, you still have to follow the old maxim: Give the customer what he wants; in this case, timely, relevant, quality content based on users’ search terms. And, that’s something even a panda can appreciate (if only he could read!).

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