Google Panda & Penguin Introduction

In order to fix your rankings, first you need to be sure which of Google’s two significant recent updates has caused the problem. If you look at your traffic data, you will see a significant traffic drop on or around the 24th April 2012 if Penguin is the cause.

Google Penguin also demotes the exact match keywords most used in your back-link anchor text. The free back-link analysis tool at majesticseo.com will show you the most popular phrases being used in your back-links.

Linking Profile

Anchor text density requirements dropped overnight and today you need the maximum for any keyword to be 5% or lower. Most of your back-links should use either Brand, URL or junk text in the link. Your company or website are good examples of what to use for Brand links. URL links should be varied so they look natural.

Back-links from different Class C IP addresses are vital for your linking efforts. Building links on themed sites that have similar content topics to you will help more than ever before. A good trust score for the sites linking to you is vital, as it indicates the quality of the sites linking to them. Build back-links from other domain pages with back-links.

Using Link Networks

We would advise website owners to avoid automated link networks because they rarely provide anything other than low grade links and when Google discover the network it will lose all its ranking influence and sites it links to will be penalized in search.

On-Page SEO for Google Panda

The optimum on-page keyword density for all of your website pages should be around 2%. Including links that refer visitors to to authority sites (.gov, .edu) is a good practice and will improve the performance of your site in SERP’s.

Your Web Content

Do not copy or duplicate any content. Everything on your website should be unique to you, well written and of the highest quality.

Contextual links are links from within your page content using phrases to link to related pages of your site. They can also link out to third party sites, especially ‘authority’ sites.

Use of Images and Photo’s

Videos and photo’s are very useful content. Images are a great way to break up large sections of text and help to explain your content. Videos are great for increasing the time that visitors spend on your pages.

Using unique alt text behind each image is an opportunity to include a variation of a keyword rich description.

Your website content shouldn’t contain any spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors. Double-check everything you write before publication as it will affect your ‘quality score’. Your content should be as long as it needs to be in order to cover everything you need to say. However, pages with less content tend not to rank as well. Over 500 words appears to be beneficial.

You should create your content for the benefit of your readers, not for search engines. There is no point writing just for search engines, because when real people arrive at your content they won?t stay very long. Using different words that have similar meanings is a good practice, because Google can associate those keywords using latent semantic indexing (LSI). This allows you to write more natural sounding content without having to repeat exact match keywords throughout your page.

Best Use of Metatags

Unique meta data tags should be on every page of your website. You will be penalized in SERP’s if lots of pages have the same metadata.

The meta description tag is usually used in search engine results below your page heading. For this reason you should write it to get a better click through, not for keyword spamming.

User Engagement

Google penalizes slow loading pages. Check that your website is fast enough using YSlow in Firefox. The volume of visitors that don’t like your website content when they arrive and instantly hit the back button represent your bounce rate. This needs to be as low as possible, but a maximum of 55%.

Page Views and Time on Site

Average page views is another metric used to determine the quality of your website content. The more pages a visitor looks at, the better your site is considered to be. Longer visits to your site pages are considered to indicate quality content. Google is looking for quality content, so keep visitors as long as possible.

If you need more guidance for your website, request a full SEO website audit as it will highlight exactly where your site is good and bad and what you need to focus on in order to rank ahead of your competitors.