The introduction of Google Panda in late February, 2011 represents a laudable attempt to increase user satisfaction among Google’s enormous user base. Users surf the Web everyday for a huge variety of topics and are the driving force behind the huge advertising revenue which Google generates each month. Before Google Panda was introduced, junk content sites; also referred to as content mills made use of the knowledge regarding the workings of Google’s search algorithm and directed their efforts accordingly. Such sites pay good money for quality software that can find out what keywords users are searching for and then employ an army of cheap freelancers whom they pay peanuts to produce a continuous stream of low quality articles. Such a scheme used to work just fine. Google gave such sites high ranking on the basis of the high volume of articles they produced, earning them untold amounts of money in advertising revenue while only needing to pay the freelancers peanuts. Soon however, Google caught on to what they were doing and responded with Google Panda.
Unfortunately, if you were operating a site which HAD to contain large amount of keyword-rich pieces but is not a content mill, you are going to get caught in the crossfire as well. Most probably, you are already suffering the consequences. One such example is sites of web based retailers which utilize the same product descriptions as those of their competitors and the manufacturers themselves. Fear not, below we will provide a few tips on how to regain at least partially, the traffic you have lost!
Go to any length to provide original content
As mentioned above, some E-commerce sites have been copying and pasting product descriptions right from the websites of manufacturer and then using them on their own sites. Such a practice although not malicious in nature nevertheless clashed with Google’s intent in rooting out sites containing duplicate content, thus affecting the ranking of such sites.
One counter-maneuver which these sites could use is by hiring people to rewrite the content of their sites. As long as the contents are not totally similar to that of the original, Google’s new algorithm will not decrease your ranking on search results lists.
Do not concentrate on Google alone!
Many site owners inadvertently came to regard Google as the only avenue through which traffic to their sites can be increased. As such, all their strategies and activities have been aimed at responding to Google’s workings. We should recognize the other pathways through which traffic can be generated as well and invest efforts in those areas accordingly.
A few examples of area in which we could work on (whether Google related or not) are:
Social media sites
Google’s latest search algorithm place substantial value on the discussions on social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Therefore, we should strive to increase and create discussions regarding our website and services on such sites. The higher the amount of such discussions, the higher the chances of our ranking on search lists being increased.
Email and telemarketing
It is time to get more up close with your readers and customers! Although up close may not be the best term to use since such marketing are still done long-distance over the phone or through a keyboard. Nevertheless, by emailing and calling prospective clients directly, you are increasing the prospects of them visiting your site if only for a quick look at what you have to offer. After all, doing so won’t hurt them and if they like what they see, there is no reason why there will not be back for more! As more visitors click on the URLs of your websites and traffic to the sites increase, you can be sure that Google will react accordingly, increasing your ranking on their search lists again!
Constant updates are the key!
One other way which Google used as a measure of the quality of sites is by measuring how often and frequent those sites are updated. This is due to the fact that the majority of users would not want to view outdated content. Coincidentally, site content which have not been updated for weeks or even months are often reflective of outdated content. Therefore, if you are a legitimate business, do take the trouble to update your site as often as you can. This is absolutely true for bloggers too!
To sum up, Google Panda reflects Google’s commitment in providing the best search results for their users and if your site experienced a decline in ranking, it should not be taken personally. Google provides useful advices for those sites which are hoping to regain some of their traffic and if you are the owner of such a site, you try out some of the tips we have shared above! Let’s produce better quality content, engage more in social media sites and interact more with our readers and users.