Surviving Google's "Panda" Updates


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PM Digital's Clay Cazier explains the history and impacts of Google's "Panda" Updates. Learn techniques to avoid penalization for current and future updates.

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Surviving Google's "Panda" Updates

  1. 1. Surviving Google's “Panda” Updates Search Engine Strategies Theater Presentation March 21, 2012 Clay Cazier Senior Director Search Strategy New York, NY Copyright 2012 PM Digital. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. Agenda Introduction Major Concepts What You Should Do How to Keep Up Q&A Copyright 2012 PM Digital. All rights reserved. 2
  3. 3. Introduction Copyright 2012 PM Digital. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. PM Digital Quick Facts Full-Service, Direct Response Online Marketing Agency Clay Cazier is Senior Director, year organization with a full time PM Digital (“PMD”) is a division of Paradysz, Inc., a 20+ Search Strategy for PM Digital. His resume staff of 250 includes more than 12 years of web development and search engine 70+ employees in PM Digital’s New York, San Francisco, optimization experience, including Scottsdale & Columbia, SCventures in the healthcare, successful offices. travel and legal verticals. Clay’s role at PMD is Search Engine Marketing Internet Retailer #2 Topto provide the strategic foundation, Vendor 2011 best practices and business support needed to craft campaigns that win for PM Digital Service Offerings PMD’s clients. Natural Search (“SEO”) Paid Search (“PPC”) Loves: WordPress, PHP, aircooled VWs, daschunds, metal, a Advertising Social Media Display good cat video, my wife, kids & family. Mobile Shopping Feeds Analytics Affiliate Management eCRM Remarketing Creative Services Copyright 2012 PM Digital. All rights reserved. 4
  5. 5. Who We Serve Copyright 2012 PM Digital. All rights reserved. 5
  6. 6. Major Concepts Copyright 2012 PM Digital. All rights reserved.
  7. 7. Google Panda – Major Concepts On February 24, 2011, Google released the first in a series of updates aimed at filtering low quality content out of its search results Since February 2011, Panda updates have been released in three to eight week intervals April – July 2011: Panda versions 2.0 - 2.5 were released October 2011 – present: Panda versions 3.0 - 3.3 were released Nicknamed “Panda”, these updates are just one among many ranking factors Google is releasing with increasing frequency Panda starts with humans judging the quality of groups of sites. For that reason, approach Panda from a user experience point of view. Panda is arguably a series of ranking updates rather than algorithm updates because the filter runs periodically. Panda penalties are site-wide, not page-specific. If you trip the Panda threshold with enough low quality pages, the entire site will be penalized. Panda can “forgive” sites for low quality content once it has been removed or improved. Copyright 2012 PM Digital. All rights reserved.
  8. 8. Google Panda – Major Concepts What factors increase a site’s chance of penalization? 1. Duplicate articles or product pages within your site 2. Articles, products or descriptions shared with many other sites (eg “thin” affiliate sites) 3. Sites with complex, repetitive templates with little content (a high template-to-body-content ratio) 4. Sites with a high ratio of ads to content above the fold 5. Authority-less content (poor linkages, misspellings, short, one sided, anonymous, etc.) Types of Authority: Personal authority – author Institutional authority – publisher Textual authority – document Intrinsic plausibility authority – text Copyright 2012 PM Digital. All rights reserved.
  9. 9. Google Panda – The Future? We know the ultimate, best advice is make sure your site features unique content that real visitors would find useful. Further, canonicalization is a good strategy to clean up URL-based duplicate content Are there any signals as to what may be in the next “Panda” update? In May 2011, Amit Singhal posted 23 questions to use to assess site content quality. These are editorial in nature. (Panda is about quality, not just duplication.) In a March 2012 SXSW session, Matt Cutts hinted, “What about the people optimizing really hard and doing a lot of SEO… All those people doing, for lack of a better word, over optimization or overly SEO… like too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links...” A March 2012 article in the WSJ points to interviews that translate to Google’s increasing use of markup language to understand relationships between entities. Copyright 2012 PM Digital. All rights reserved.
  10. 10. What You Should Do Copyright 2012 PM Digital. All rights reserved.
  11. 11. Google Panda – What You Should Do If your US-based, Google organic traffic dropped more than ~20% (particularly in late February or April-June 2011), you were likely penalized. 1. Canonicalize, add value to or remove duplicate content 2. Review your site template. If the pages’ headers, left nav, right nav or footers look “crowded”: i. Remove excessive advertising ii. Consider “siloing” your navigation iii. Review your footer’s links/content and their necessity 3. If you have “thin” content pages that largely function as indices: <meta name="googlebot" content="noindex, follow"> 4. Increase unique content generation 5. Increase user engagement (social icons, comments, etc.) 6. If available, inspect pages’ bounce rate – this will highlight content visitors have perceived to be low quality 7. Wait for the next update Copyright 2012 PM Digital. All rights reserved.
  12. 12. How to Keep Up Copyright 2012 PM Digital. All rights reserved.
  13. 13. How to Keep Up Generally Industry pundits Matt Cutts - seoMOZ - Search Engine Land - Strategically Google Labs ( Mashable ( & Techcrunch ( LinkedIn groups, Forbes, WSJ, NYT, etc. Copyright 2012 PM Digital. All rights reserved. 13
  14. 14. References for this Presentation 1842851136290-lMyQjAxMTAyMDEwNDExNDQyWj.html Copyright 2012 PM Digital. All rights reserved. 14
  15. 15. Thank You 5 Hanover Square New York, NY 10004 1.800.254.0330 Clay Cazier Senior Director, Search Strategy Copyright 2012 PM Digital. All rights reserved.