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SMX - How to Know If You've Been Hit by Google's Panda Penalty

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Not sure if you've been hit by Google's On-Page Panda penalty? Find out how to diagnose Panda on your site, FIX Panda, Clear up your site and RECOVER. See proof that your site can recover from Google's Panda Penalty

Originally presented at Search Marketing Expo (SMX)

Published in: Marketing
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SMX - How to Know If You've Been Hit by Google's Panda Penalty

  1. 1. Helen M. Overland Diagnosing & Repairing Panda VP Conversion Optimization, On-Page SEO & Analytics
  2. 2. Who is Search Engine People? • 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 PROFIT100 ranking • Over 1000 clients worldwide • Amongst top 13k most visited sites worldwide
  3. 3. Types of Google Penalties Panda Google penalties come in many flavours! Manual Links “Unnatural Links” Content “Low Quality Pages” Algorithmic Links Penguin Content Panda “Ads Above the Fold”
  4. 4. Types of Google Penalties Panda Google penalties come in many flavours! Manual Links “Unnatural Links” Content “Low Quality Pages” Algorithmic Links Penguin Content Panda “Ads Above the Fold”
  5. 5. What is Panda? Panda An algorithmic update that appears to have the objective of eliminating poor quality content from Google’s index. Panda looks for: • Light content (too little info on page) • Content too similar to existing content (affiliates) • Spelling/grammatical errors (sign of cheap content) • Low user engagement • Article Syndication • Scraper Sites
  6. 6. How Bad Can It Be? Panda Panda typically drops your unbranded organic traffic from Google by 40-60% in a single day
  7. 7. How Bad Can It Be? Panda If sites don’t fix the issues, they can be hit consecutively
  8. 8. Signs You’ve Been Affected by Panda Panda 1. Unbranded Organic traffic from Google drops 40-60% in a single day 2. You’re still ranking for your headline keywords 3. You lost your long tail traffic 4. You are struggling to maintain your traffic, and don’t know why 5. You are actively promoting the site, but traffic seems “flat”
  9. 9. How to Find It.
  10. 10. First, Check Google Analytics Panda • Google will always want to rank you for your brand name!! • Find out if your unbranded, organic traffic from Google has dropped • Use Google Analytics 1. 2. 3.
  11. 11. First, Check Google Analytics Panda • Exclude your brand name from the results – because you’re likely still ranking, and include only organic Google traffic: 4. 5.
  12. 12. First, Check Google Analytics Panda • Exclude your brand name from the results – because you’re likely still ranking, and include only organic Google traffic • Identify if there were any days where traffic clearly and sharply dropped
  13. 13. Second, Check Panda Dates Panda • Here, traffic was reasonably normal until March 23rd, 2012 • Now, find out if Panda was run around this date Visit the “Google Algorithm Change History” page on SEOMoz: seomoz.org/google-algorithm-change
  14. 14. Second, Check Panda Dates Panda • Here, traffic was reasonably normal until March 23rd, 2012 • Now, find out if Panda was run around this date seomoz.org/google-algorithm-change There WAS a Panda update run during this time
  15. 15. A Few Notes Panda • This isn’t perfect!! Is vulnerable to “false positives” (you think it’s Panda but it’s not) • A few false positives we’ve seen over the year(s!): o Google Analytics code dropped from the site on a “Panda day” o 2nd GA code removed from the site on a Panda day o Content removed from the site on a Panda day o Site hit by Penguin during initial Penguin roll-out in April, 2012 - Panda run a few days before and a few days after = diagnosis more difficult
  16. 16. Next: Fix It
  17. 17. Case Study: Recovering from Panda Panda You CAN recover from Panda!!
  18. 18. Case Study: Recovering from Panda Panda You CAN recover from Panda!!
  19. 19. How to Fix Panda Panda BE QUALITY • Improve the usability of your site – decrease your bounce rate, make people “stick” and recommend your site to others • Spell check and grammar check your content – rewrite if needed • Create quality content people want to share with their friends • Consolidate your pages – don’t have your content spread over multiple domains or URLs
  20. 20. How to Fix Panda Panda BE ADMIRED, NEVER DUPLICATED • Identify pages on your site where you have “empty” pages, or pages with little content on them – these are “thin” pages • Identify pages on your site that have text on them copied from elsewhere, even if you have permission to copy the content (product descriptions, etc) • Re-write or remove the thin or duplicate content, or have the duplicate content on other sites removed • Write new, good-quality content and add it to the site • Wait for the next Panda update – if it recovers good, if not, rinse and repeat
  21. 21. Good Luck!
  22. 22. Thank You! Questions? Helen M. Overland VP Conversion Optimization, On-Page SEO & Analytics

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