Cute, isn’t he?
What I want to talk about this week is a different type of “Panda”, however.
Last year, Google launched a series of updates to their search algorithm (their “RULES”) with a code name “Panda”
Yes, they think they’re the CIA now…
They recently (last week) announced that a new Panda update is forthcoming.
These series of updates have had some serious ramifications on millions of web sites world-wide such as Andrew Strauss, owner of Oh My Dog Supplies LLC who received 70% of his customers through Google searches. After the changes, he lost 96% of his Google traffic and his sales plummeted from $68,000 a month to $25,000 a month.
Google’s main priority is to provide the highest quality, most accurate and relevant content possible. Their other priority (which by the way keeps them in business) is to sell Google Adwords. But that’s for another discussion.
The main focus of these Panda updates are to eliminate low quality content from their system. They know that page 1 is the only page that people look at, generally, and they are dead set on making page 1 extremely accurate in relation to the searches being made.
So, if someone does a search for “umbrella stores in Sioux City, Iowa”, you can bet your last dollar that the search results returned for this search are going to be extremely accurate.
How does google define “relevant” and “quality” in regards to content and what can you do to make sure you score high enough?
Google considers relevant and quality content to be directly in relation to two factors:
- On Site Content
- Off Site Content
On Site content is the actual “stuff” that you have coded into and placed on your site such as text, videos, images, meta tags (keywords, page titles, page descriptions), and your actual domain name (having a keyword in your domain name is helpful). Make sure you keep your content fresh as well, as Google spiders your web site frequently.
Off Site content refers to any articles, blogs, social media mentions, backlinks from other web sites, reviews, and other content that is on other web pages, directories, etc.
It is rumored that Google gives Off Site Content a weight of as much as 70% of your total page ranking!! That’s a very serious statistic and what that means for you is that you can do all of the right things with your On Site Content and still only impact your total score 30% or so.
If your On Site content and Off Site content are good quality, abundant, and closely related to each other in terms of keywords and scope, Google will give you a high ranking and you’ll be considered “relevant”.
“But I’m already submitting my site to the search engines on a regular basis. Isn’t that good enough??”
If you are in “niche” industry with very little competition, this might not be a problem. After all, if there’s no one else to compare your site to in regards to keywords and what is “relevant”, than you become “RELEVANT”. However, if you are competing against a larger pool of other businesses like your own, it probably won’t be enough…especially, if they’re Off Site content is more numerous that yours.
What to do next?
- First, make sure that your On site content is updated, fresh and useful for your focus audience.
- Second, make sure that your site is tagged properly with the correct meta tags and it helps to have a good keyword rich domain name as your primary domain.
- Third, get working on Off Site Content! Get out there and try to get articles and reports published on other web sites, blogs, and other locations. Use social media to your advantage, get backlinks from other web sites, and try to garner good reviews from your clients that can be verified through Google + Local.
It’s a lot of work, but the payoff can be tremendous. Some see the Panda updates as an obstacle that is tough to overcome. I happen to see it as an opportunity to do the right things and get a “leg up” on competitors.
For the astute marketer with a well-rounded, diversified SEO plan, built on a foundation of quality content, this can be your opportunity to grow your business and pull ahead of your competitors in the battle for online exposure.
Need help in this area? We’re rolling out a completely new Premium Search Engine Marketing Platform very soon that focuses on the requirements of the new Panda updates and maximizing Off Site Content.
Call us today at 1.877.490.8324 for some new ideas and a free, no-hassle consultation.
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To your success!
Sr. Online Business Strategist