Content Optimization Techniques To Counter Panda Slap 2011

Guna by - 11/25/2011 5501 Views

Content Optimization and Management To Better SERP & PageRank

Search engines algorithms are being strategically updated periodically to evaluate content and to deliver the best possible search results so as to benefit the user. Google algorithms are tuned to reward original and unique content that is well written, organized and presented to the user, and with every passing day they continue to get better at weeding out content that is search engine targeted with the intent of generating traffic. As search engines make changes to their algorithms every few months, with the intent of refining search results and making the web more user- friendly, the PageRanks of the websites rises or falls depending on the quality of the content on the pages, in addition to a lot of other technical indices which has been discussed earlier on this site.

Thousands of websites that had been enjoying good traffic have suddenly witnessed a decline in activity, post Panda update November, 2011. There could be number of reason that would have contributed to the fall in PageRank, from technical hitches to poorly managed content. Lately, Google’s algorithmic approach has made substantial changes in ranking a website and this has affected sites that didn’t fall within Google’s parameters for high page rank. As Google dominates web search, with a share of more than 65% a lot could depend on how Google metrics measures every site and so the following content optimization techniques are slanted towards what Google considers high value.

As much as incoming links from sites with high PageRank would have a say on how your site fares with regard to PageRank, there is always a possibility that the high ranking sites could fall in rank with changes in search engine algorithms. Moreover, not all search engines rate sites place the same emphasis on the PageRank of incoming links just as Google does and so, to maintain consistency on all search engines, the content of your website should rank high inorder to figure in the top places.

Google has come down heavily on pages that have poor and copied or scrapped content and this is one of the chief factors that needs a lot of looking into. Even sites that had great content were affected by the new Google algorithm most probably due to issues like cloaking or other technical issues that could have caused the GoogleBots to read content as duplicate content. Moreover, Panda algorithms took into account many indices like bounce rates and the time a user spent on a page.

On one hand, Google AdWords promotes adverts on pages, whereas its anti-spam division has been penalizing pages that are Adheavy or Ad-cluttered. Page on which ads took centre stage while the content was hidden beneath the fold, took big hits because of minimal user time rates. The Google Panda and Caffeine Algorithms took notice and rated sites against many more parameters and diverted traffic from sites that whose performance didn’t match its standards, while rewarding sites with high-quality content and better user engagement. Sites and directories, which fell under the category of ‘content farms’ were the worst affected and were pushed to the bottom of Google SERP as these sites had no review or quality checks, and accepted almost anything and everything.

Users look for content and information they can trust and so well researched, original and unique content that is informative forms the lifeline of every website. In spite of webmasters assigning credit to the original site for copied content on their pages, Google is tuned to consider it to be scrapped content. With every passing day, the Web is growing bigger and Google is getting smarter and so, developing a robust content strategy that gives the user informative, crisp and engaging content would get you where you would want to be in the Google SERP. Google advocates periodic evaluation of all content on your site, removal of low quality pages and moving them to a different domain to help your get ranked for the high quality content. Listed below are some good practices that would help get your website were you want to be through good content optimization and management.


1. Turn your spotlight on Information

Spotlight on InformationThe updated Google algorithms are designed to value web pages that offer original and engaging information to the users and can devalue recycled or rehashed content that is already available within Google’s database. Original content will engage user interest better, reduce bounce rates, increase traffic and will eventually rank higher against Google’s search algorithm parameters.

Users have a habit of spotting good content and directing others to it, which would increase SERP and organic PageRanks in the long run if the content is original and is updated periodically. Content developers need to realize that users would be at different levels of understanding about the same subject and hence, should spend time and effort on deciding who to cater to and how.

2. Gauge Content and Revise Content to Suit Algorithmic Updates

People searching for information on Google would never be satisfied with shallow or poor content, copied content or information that would be termed useless. By making use of Google Analytics, webmaster can easily identify content that is under-performing by measuring traffic against the various metrics like page views, bounce rate & exit rates.

Hence, content developers need to manually evaluate pages that contain poor or outdated content, since the latest Google Panda and Caffeine updates are tuned to deliver the most fresh, original and relevant content, based on user intent.

In a domain, a few pages of low-level content could impact the pages with better content, and bring down the domain rank on the whole. Either rework and improve the poor pages by creating original and unique content or shift the poor pages to another domain to reduce the Panda’s wrath. 

3. Deliver Quality Content for Better Ranking and Authority

On site content optimizationGoogle doesn’t want its users to shift base to another search engine that might offer better results, and hence, the main focus of its algorithmic updates are tuned to offer the best user experience by delivering the quality and content rich pages in its search results that is engaging and is beneficial to the users.

Pages with grammatical, spelling and stylistic errors could be seriously damaging as there is direct and definite effect of high quality content with the PageRank & domain authority.

The titles and sub-titles in a page need to be highlighted as bold, underlined, colored, or be italicized so as to draw the attention of the reader to information that the webmaster might consider more important and this text is given weight higher than standard content. The use of such special texts ensures that the visitor as well as GoogleBot reads it.

4. Turndown Thin and Irrelevant Content

As the Google algorithms rank pages with well researched, analytical and well presented content, anything short of the above is sure to be devalued. Thin content is defined as shallow information that adds no value to the user. If you are hosting content that doesn’t satisfy user intent or isn’t engaging users, remove the page or redirect it to a relevant page with ‘noindex’ tag so that it doesn’t affect your PageRank.

5. Do Away with Duplicate Content

Just doing away with duplicate content can bring good results for websites, and is something that can addressed without much difficulty. A few pages of copied or scrapped, rehashed or recycled content can be very damaging to the domain as a whole.

6. Maintain Optimal Keyword Density

Optimize Keyword DensityIt is implicit that search engines operate on certain mathematical formulae and to fall within the indices will give your content the greatest chance of success. Not all searchers on the net would have the same level of understanding of the same subject and so the keywords or phrase they key-in to find what they are looking for would differ too. Hence it is necessary for content developers to understand the keywords or key phrases that the users would key-in to locate the page, and need to develop content targeting 2 – 4 primary keywords, and support it with secondary and related keywords. The intent should be to engage and satisfy the users and not the search engines so as to develop content without keyword stuffing, hidden text, extremely small font sizes, and other tactics that basically hide text from a visitor while feeding search engines. Maintain optimal keywords density of 3% to 8%, create original content, review and refine content periodically and you are sure to gain a better PageRank as long as all other indices support your claim to better rank.

7. Hyperlinks, Interlink and Use Anchor Texts

Anchor TextThe technicalities of hyperlinking to other pages on your site as well as to other sites are straightforward, while the anchor texts you use in links are critical from an SEO perspective. Over a period of time, the links that are generated from the pages of your site become the central nervous system of your site, and are pivotal for structuring your site for better and easy navigation. From an SEO perspective, search engine bots learn more about your site from the way that your documents are linked together.

Interlinking documents and pages of similar or related content within the site would provide value to the reader, as it enhances possibilities to create more focused documents by relegating subtopics, background information, and other related content from existing pages.

8. Beware of Syndicated Content & Product Feeds

It is common to see a lot of websites, make use of syndicated content on their websites, and ending up disfavored by Google due to duplication. As syndicated content on your site is sure to show up on a number of other sites too, it reduces the chance of your site achieving a high rank. Product feeds are used across thousands of different sites most of which display the same product description. Rewrite product descriptions, news feeds, and others so as to provide users with unique and valuable information on every product, service or news.

9. Create Interactive and User Friendly Pages

Create a better user engagement with optimized images, videos, unique and original text and pages linking to your best related editorial content. Promote your content on social media including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

10. Encourage viewership with Google Authorship

Inorder to differentiate between good content and bad, and to give the good authors their due respect, Google is piloting the display of author information in search results to help users discover great content with authorship markup. To identify the author of a blog or article, Google is making use of the ‘rel’ attribute in links to detect relationship between content and author, which enables a connection between the content page and an author page. This not only acts as a ranking signal, but enhances the Google Profile of the author by placing authors in search results with nice little clickable graphics, which augments the user experience.

  • Create content for search engines but for the reader.
  • Generate content based on what might rank well in search engines
  • Use duplicate, overlapping, or redundant content with mild keyword variations
  • Leave spelling, stylistic, or factual errors on your content
  • Include mass-produced or syndicated content
  • Distract user with ads that interfere with the main content
  • Mislead search engines and users by presenting different versions of content by ‘cloaking’
  • Use hidden text content or hidden links in your pages
  • Create multiple pages, sub-domains, or domains with duplicated content
  • Create ‘doorway’ pages or ‘cookie cutter’ with little or no original content

Category :

SEO News

Tags :

Content Optimization, PageRank, Original content, Quality content, thin content, Keyword density, Anchortext, Google authorship, SEO, Google, Yahoo,

About Guna

Guna Guna is Web Solutions Architect and  Consultant focused on developing and implementing turnkey SEO, SEM, Social Media Marketing, and Web .... more info