Featured Google SE Optimization SE Tactics

7 Ways to Protect Your Site From Google Panda

Back in February of 2011, Google unleashed a sweeping change to their search results ranking algorithm known as Panda, all in hopes of downranking “junk” and “copy-pasted” websites while boosting the visibility of better, more useable and unique sites.

Big surprise: it didn’t work perfectly. Although the algorithm changes indeed altered search results (in some cases for the better), the search giant was met with a backlash from many site owners accusing it of everything from poor quality control to putting its own corporate interests over those of the websites they help internet users find.

If you run a website or blog, there’s no getting around Google Panda. Instead, you’ll need to adapt and adjust, which in many cases will mean improving the overall quality of your site.

Here are seven ways to do exactly that:

1. Create More Content, and Don’t Worry About Length

If you read too heavily into SEO guides (many of which are outdated by Panda, by the way), you may think that every single page on your site should contain no more than 300 to 500 words of content. Although there’s certainly a case to be made for short, punchy, to-the-point posts, the reality is that Panda calls for the best possible user experience, which in turn calls for content that’s only as long as it needs to be. You might have one page that makes its point in 200 words, while another may exceed 1,000.

Of course, there are some common sense limits to this. If a single page of your site exceeds, say, 2,000 words of content, you may want to think about how it could be restructured or broken into two or three separate pages that obviously deserve dedicated areas of their own. The old advice about breaking up lengthier posts with plenty of pictures, lists (when applicable and needed) and subheadings still applies, too. Always write user friendly content that can attract more viewers to your site.

2. Make Your Content Valuable and Non-Redundant

If you’ve had some sub-par content sitting and rotting away on the outskirts of your site, now might be a great time to clean it up. Although this type of content may have been seen as a neutral factor in the eyes of Google pre-Panda, especially if the rest of your site was high quality, it’s now viewed as a serious detriment that could drag down the rest of your site along with it. Anything that even remotely resembles spam will fall into this category.

Here are a few tips that go beyond the basic advice of writing
for value:

  • Update pages whose only purpose is to link to other pages. Roll them into other pages that have content, or write some new valuable content for them.
  • Place plenty of original content above the fold, in the area immediately visible upon landing on the page.
  • Don’t plaster every page with ads. Having some ads is still fine, of course, but they shouldn’t take up more real estate than your actual content.
  • Never use auto-generated content. This simply won’t fly anymore with Google’s new algorithms.

3. Aim for a Natural Link Profile

Let’s say the purpose of your site is to discuss wireless internet services. You might link to a bunch of broadband providers, and possibly some mainstream media articles regarding the same topic. What you probably wouldn’t do, however, is link directly to competing sites trying to fill the same niche. In a post-Panda online environment, this is a mistake.

Panda is all about delivering the best possible experience to the user. Your site can do that by linking to other sites solely based on the value and relevancy of their content, regardless of whether they’re competing for your traffic. Your readers will appreciate it, and hence, Google will too.

4. Build Your Empire by Creating More Assets

When Google looks at your “brand,” they want to see more than just a single website that looks like a buoy in an ocean. Modern internet users want more than just pages with pictures. By creating more assets for your site, such as email lists, interactive forums and Facebook pages, you build a community around your brand. In a post-Panda environment, these are the types of sites that Google will prioritize in search results.

Get creative: is there some aspect of your site, or facet of your content, that could be better conveyed with an ongoing, regularly updated video series instead of just text? Seize the opportunity to use increasingly affordable multimedia to beef up your site/brand.

5. Select More Natural Keywords

Outdated SEO advice went something like this: pick one or two keyword phrases most closely related to the topic you’re covering in a post, hammer them into the content as heavily as possible, and make them even more obvious by bolding them and putting them in every subheading as well. Google’s new algorithms see right through this, and treat it as nothing short of a devious tactic.

Of course, you still need to include the keywords you’re trying to promote, but the key is to let that happen naturally. Write about the topic in a thorough and insightful way, and you’ll probably notice upon proofreading that you automatically included several variations of the keyword phrase without even really trying. It’s less work for you, and Google actually appreciates the effort by ranking you higher. These keywords will automatically increase your website position in google search.

6. Pay Attention to Navigation

No amount of excellent content will be worth anything if your users can’t find their away around your site. This one’s rather basic: keep menus consistent and logically arranged, use internal linking whenever appropriate, and don’t bury anything on your site.

7. Skip the Short-Cuts

Lots of site developers and SEOs are claiming that they circumvented the downranking effects of Panda through what basically amounts to a tricky short-cut: moving pages and sub-domains from a “pandalized: domain to a new one, and suddenly recovering the search rank and traffic they experienced before Panda even happened. Sounds like they just beat the system, right?

In reality, these types of short-cuts may work for a few days, at which point Google’s search-bots will finish analyzing your “new” pages only to penalize them yet again. The only real way to get your ranking back post-Panda is to shape up your content, cut the duplicate copy and give your users a thoroughly better and more valuable experience.

To know more visit www.clciktrends.com.

About the author


Gaurav Tripathi

Gaurav Tripathi is a Digital Marketing Professional and Blogger. Gaurav has helped many startups and brands to increase their business online reputataion and ranking on the internet, especially in globel ecommerce sector. He is the founder of Clciktrends and Fat Smash Diet Blogs.


Click here to post a comment
  • From my own SEO experience (which is limited to just content, keywords, meta-tags etc to be honest) I find keeping content fresh, images tagged, and obviously well written is a good way to help your website/s in the rankings.

    The websites I’ve designed are by no means ranked number one for any search phrases but I do see decent page ranks, maybe 2-4, not great but they are well seen!

    I haven’t yet hired an ‘SEO expert’ because my clients have been happy with their results, plus their finances haven’t allowed for any SEO campaigns. So if you’re like them I would recommend keeping content fresh and doing the best you can for all the SEO basics I mentioned above… and any more you can find!

    But like I mentioned … I’m no expert!

    • Hi, I agree with you. Content quality is very important for any website or blog. To increase keyword rank on Google search, you need to regularly update your website with fresh and unique content. We often talk about PageRank, but now a days Page Rank is nothing. It will not help your website to get good rank on Google search.

    • you can find natural keywords within your content, or go to webmaster tools and see search terms. Use long tail keywords

  • Good article now I know why my other site failed.
    Hope you don’t mind I’m re-posting this on my blog.

  • So you say it is a good idea to link out to competitors web sites if they have relevant content? So actually you are supplying better content to your users by providing them with links to other relevant pages to.

  • These 7 points works as a remedy for those affected by Panda 4.2

    Guys follow Gaurav’s advice as mentioned in the points above and you will surely recover from panda.

    Thanks Gaurav for sharing these valuable tips. Keep it up!

  • Point 6 seems to be ignored by many, but those who understand that “menu” or navigation” is very useful for users, know that it’s useful for SEO, too. “Google Sitelinks” is one of the many examples.

  • Informative post on panda, but I am confused. Does panda affect low content pages or high content pages? Does panda have anything to do with link profiles?

  • Fantastic post. Content is king. Google wants the best sites at the top meaning they want informative websites. Informative doesn’t mean mostly sales copy.

    If you put yourself in a place of providing information, you’ll experience a rise in organic rankings. If you don’t care about providing information, then go with Google AdWords.

  • Informative post on panda but I am confused. Does panda affect low content pages or high content pages? Is panda have anything to do with link profile?….

  • Great post! Thanks for sharing!
    To be honest with you, Panda no longer worries me, if you have the “recipe”, you’ll bake the perfect “cake”.

  • this is so much helpful, Panda is the worst nightmare one would ever dream of, and these tips will really help to get over the nightmare with flying colors.

  • Panda is directly related to content, so we should avoid from all types of content spamming. I agree with you on the duplicate content issue, but we should also care about other issues like keyword stuffing.

  • The Rules of SEO has changed a lot. Without realizing it, the change has downgraded my blog and my income. Now, I have to learn a lot about SEO after panda, etc. The changes are quite fundamental. Thanks for the 7 tips for new SEO.

  • It will be much better to have links pointing to your site that are not fully using your target keywords, make some alterations and make use of long tail but relevant keywords, let other websites cite your content.

  • Very informative blog post. Everything makes sense though. Keep up the good work ahead too. Really appreciate the effort.