On the first day of the SES San Francisco, Jim Boykin, CEO and Link Building Ninja, We Build Pages Internet Marketing Services- discussed the much feared Panda. He began his session by pointing out the dark day for many websites- February 24th, when the Panda was rolled out by Google. He then explored everything about the algorithm update:
What is Panda? Why was it rolled out?
Google rolled out the Panda to crack down on content farms. But many of the affected sites were not content farms- like e-commerce sites and even his own site. The only one to benefit from the Panda were the brands. He pointed out that the Panda is all about content and usability. But if it hits you, it's like cancer- affects your whole website.
Panda judges the links too- if one of your page is linked to a site, that Google thinks is low quality, then your site's score is also lowered.
Jim then explained a few questions and researches that you can undertake to know where you stand in the arenas touched by the Panda.
The issue of duplicate content: How do you know where you stand, when it comes to duplicate content? Jim suggested a quick search- “site:mywebsite.com "snippet of content from your website".” The results will tell you all- in case you are not number one in your site's content then in Google's terms you are not the author of the content. Secondly, if it shows multiple pages on your website that have the same snippet- then you have a duplicate content problem.
Time spent on the site-bounce back- He quoted a response from Google after the fated day- 24th February- "we often measure whether users click the "back" button quickly after visiting a search result, which might indicate a lack of satisfaction with your site”.
What does this say, that there are certain factors to see in your website- how much time are people spending on your site- if it is less than 15 seconds, then your content is not relevant to them. Study what are people doing on your high exit rate pages- are they finding answers, or returning to Google?
Brand Loyalty- Who are your visitors mostly? 90% of them are first time-that came in through search? And they never come back? Why? Is you site not satisfactory?
Pogo sticking- Pogo sticking is short clicks and long clicks. Jim explained that a user can be judged as happy if you get the long click- which happens when someone went to a search result, ideally the top
one and did not return.
Jim spoke of the questions that you must ask about your own website, as originally posted by Amit, post the February update.
Content- Is the information accurate- Who wrote it- expert or an enthusiast? Would you give your credit card to this site? Are there any spelling and style errors? Whether the content is written for people or for the search engines? Value your page offers compared to other pages in the top 10? How much quality control do you have?
Once you have answered these questions, you will know what to do next- however, Jim pints a way and recommends going through your website and making a list of pages you want to remove.
After this analysis, you must work on these solutions to the Panda:
- Study Your Google Analytics.
- Perform a usability analysis.
- Perform a a Clicktale analysis
- Perform a content analysis.
- Kill Pages – merge, no index.
- Create new designs.
The key is to write longer content. Informative content. Jim specified that a mere 300 words are no longer sufficient,
Author Rank- What's Happening?
The next thing Google is doing is to identify original authors on the site. So, Author Rank is similar to Page Rank Now here is what Jim suggested to do, so that you may utilize Author Rank:
- Create an author for your site.
- Go social- be highly active on Facebook, Twitter and other prominent social networks.
- Then you must write content, and get links to that content. If these links are authority links, then the author will be trusted more.
- Use the author for even product description pages.
Link Building Tips For 2012!
Jim then gave some latest tips for link building. What is in and what is not-
Hot: Promoting New Content
Not: Preselling Pages
Hot: A published Author- now that's 2012!
Not: Link Wheels
Hot: Backlinks to Backlinks (Jim recommended getting links and building on them, from someone like NASA.gov)
Hot: Going Social- Getting followers, likes, and mentions
Not: Asking for links
Jim gives another hot tip, he says, “ Link building helps you to rank in the short tail results. If you want to rank for the short tail, such as car insurance. You need to have people linking to your site with the term "car insurance". How do you get links like that… you can give people money. Google doesn't like that.”
To be or not to be? To buy links or not?
Jim said that he does not recommend buying links. BUT if you don't buy links you are probably not going to rank for short tail phrases. However, the relief comes in the form of long tail and you can rank for the same. Paid links still work. But its a risk vs. reward
What to do if you get caught buying links? Remove those links and then deny any knowledge that you were not supposed to do that.
- Do not do blog reviews as they are so easy to spot.
- He recommended the use of a few top directories- Yahoo, DMOZ, BOTW.
- Avoid links in sidebars and footers as they don't have as much impact as those links in middle content.
- Also go for subpages links, homepages are too easy to spot.
- Press releases- They don't hold much value.
- Trustbait must be followed. It is writing content for educators, long articles, few pictures.
The session ended here, with the audience looking forward to the second day of the SES San Francisco. 2011.Advanced Link Building, Panda Solutions, SEO Tools: SES San Francisco 2011, Day 1!,