March 28, 2013

Google’s Panda is packing a fuzzy punch to SEO rankings

There’s nothing new about a new Google algorithm update – they happen on a weekly basis. However, what is new and very different about Google’s latest is that it’s causing websites to lose their Google ranking almost overnight.

The main reason is that this algorithm, known as Panda, affects the ranking of an entire site, or a specific section, rather than the individual pages on a site. It was originally aimed at improving search results by removing websites that Google classed as ‘spammy’ (ie, those with bought links).

It has been continually updated since its launch two years ago, with Google citing many improvements to its search results pages for the end user, specifically – so it says – because it now prevents websites from manipulating rankings solely on the links pointing to it.

What that’s done for websites, however, is make it even harder to rank for specific key phrases. It’s removed websites from the search results that in actual fact have not practised any ‘spammy’ tactics at all, but have simply been trying to market themselves effectively online.

You may be aware of this latest update: you may have noticed your website traffic drop in the last couple of weeks; or you may have noticed you’ve lost rankings on both generic and brand terms, particularly ones you have focused on. And all this of course will have affected your traffic – it will be down.

Don’t panic though. As an integrated marketing agency with a digital focus we’re best placed to see the bigger picture and direct you through this latest change. We can review your site to see where the problems lie and identify content that may be risk from Panda. We can make sure every page of your site adds value to attract organic visitors and social interactions, and prevent a few pages from penalising your whole site.

This is a tactic we’ve had recent success with. We created high-quality buyer’s guides for a client’s site that have helped online visibility and are currently providing 10 percent of traffic to the site.

In short we can save you the hassle of having to potentially make multiple revisions of website submissions to Google for approval. As we all know, Google can reject your submission at any point and not tell you why.

Google is clearly stating that rankings should be truly organically gained (based on its algorithms) and that search engine optimisation (SEO) has to focus on site health, structure and content, and not be rankings based. And while that’s fine, it is a long-term plan. We can advise you on the best ways to redeem your drop in traffic, quickly, through Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising using, for example, Adword platforms.

So why not give our experts a call? We’ll make sure your website navigates these changes without giving your SEO strategy a big, fuzzy punch down the rankings.