Google Panda and Penguin in 2013 – things to note

2013 has been a busy year for Google & its updates, which is why it’s important to take into account what they are looking for and how to reduce your chances of becoming a target.

The effect of Panda & what it targets
The great thing about the Panda algorithm, is that you will help to rid or at least limit the number of poor quality websites from Google’s rankings, giving a much better all round experience to everyone who uses the popular search engine. If you have failed to fill your website with valuable content then you may feel the effects of the Panda update unless you have felt it already and have seen a drop in your rankings. The Panda update was first released in 2011 and is designed to target websites that have very little content, as well as spun or copied content. It also targets websites, which have a large amount of advertising space, helping to stop ‘span ad’ sites from taking over prime place in important rankings.

Keep your content unique & relevant
During 2013 we have seen the effect of good & bad content has on your website, which is why it’s only going to get more important as time moves on. If your website is looking a bit bare then focus your time on getting that content in and creating a site filled with information that Panda is sure to love. Obviously you will need to keep it unique, so write it yourself where possible but don’t waffle on, use useful information that has the best chance of engaging the user, which may of course lead to conversions. If you can’t write it yourself then find someone reliable who can whether it be an individual or a business.

The effect of Penguin & what it targets
If Penguin picks up on any ‘suspicious’ links then you may see a drop in rankings that a page on your website was ranking well for. If you operate a website that has what is considered ‘bad’ backlinks then the chances are that you have already experienced the effect of Penguin. If so, you may have noticed a drop in rankings, which may have been caused but the Penguin update picking up suspicious links. This important algorithm update is designed to look at your websites link profile and judge whether or not they are ‘bad’ links, which were put in place to artificially improve the ranking position of a page.

Keep your link profile as clean as possible

We understand that keeping your link profile clean is much easier said than done but it’s vital that you try your hardest or you make sure that the person in charge of your link profile tries their hardest to keep your link profile looking clean & taking out and keeping out bad links that may cause harm to your site. Penguin is not known for it’s mercy, so it’s not a case of closing your eyes and hoping the problem will go away. On the contrary, any bad links seen leading to your website will no doubt be spotted and you may be penalised for them. If your link profile is quite substantial and you haven’t been able to keep track of them all or you’re dealing with a clients website, use some of the online tools available to search for backlinks that you may have missed or may have forgotten about. Unfortunately these aren’t guaranteed to pick up every single one but they should certainly help in the quest to find and remove such links. If you find that there are some links that just can’t be removed no matter how hard you try or how many people you contact then there is always the disavow tool. This however, is not to be used lightly and should only be used when all else fails. It still isn’t guaranteed, as you will have to prove that you have been working hard to remove bad links. It can also have a negative effective if you should accidentally disavow good links and this may cause a drop in rankings in itself. Whether you’re in doubt or have confidence, it’s always best to employ an SEO expert to handle this for you.

Make sure that you keep track of the movements of these updates to ensure that your site has the best chance possible for ranking for the terms you need and if you’ve suffered a loss, research how you can improve your strategy.

Author Gyles Seward

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