Monday, 2 May 2011

Recovering from the Google Panda Update

Before Googles Panda, or Farmer update, once you had a few high-ranking pages on your site, for subsequent new pages it was pretty easy to get them ranked too. A natural follow-on.
Now, it seems to be almost the opposite. Any pages on your website which don’t rank well (e.g. not optimised for keywords), could bring down the ranking of your whole site – especially if you have a large quantity of them.

So, if you have been affected by this algorithm change, what can you do to get back to the top? Or, if you’ve not been affected, what can you do to maintain or improve your position?

Give your site a Spring-Clean

Get rid, or rework low-quality pages – which don’t add value to the reader, have poor content or a poor ranking. These pages could be bringing down the rest of your site (especially if you have lots of them!).

Consider the lengths of the texts on the pages – do they add value to your site? If they are very short (in terms of text), Google may consider them as low quality content. This will also help in terms of link-baiting – if you have higher quality content, you will naturally attract more high quality inbound links, directing traffic to your site.

Ensure that your content is unique. This means not only checking that you haven’t published it elsewhere (e.g. avoid posting your blog both on your website and your blog site), but also that it’s not been plagiarised. As soon as you see any website copying your content, report it to Google. Google takes duplicate content very seriously – so it’s worth keeping an eye on this one.

Take a look at the navigation

Content Farms typically have very horizontal structure (meaning there are not many steps separating the pages and the main home page). Consider re-thinking, if necessary, your navigation, so that pages are grouped into subject specific sections – keep in mind your SEO strategy.

Shout about your great content!

Even if you may have some pages with lower value content, don’t stop promoting your great content! To sustain their ranking, be sure to market them on Twitter, Facebook, your e-mail newsletters, and anywhere else that is appropriate.

When you publish new content, make sure, in the same way, that you communicate on it to drive traffic to your site.

Get the SEO basics right

Ensuring you’ve got the SEO basics right will make a big difference. Even though the Google algorithm does get frequently updated, the principle has always remained the same – to source the most relevant websites with the most relevant information. Whether it’s keywords, a site map, online marketing, make sure Google can read your website and knows what it’s about!


  1. Great article, thank you! I totally agree that in order to sustain the ranking one should market any new content externally - social media, e-newsletters, blogs...

  2. Content, content, content. Only by providing relevant and quality write-ups on-page and off-page can a website truly recover from the damages it has taken from the Panda update.

  3. The Panda update really rocked the SEO world, but maybe for good reasons. With the panda update taking more into consideration relevance and quality content, SEO experts will more likely optimize their websites with the credo "content is king."


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