Since Google is trying to provide its searchers with the best possible experience, content that speaks directly to reader needs, and is higher quality, will tend to rank higher.
The best way to avoid a penalty into the future is simply to focus on quality above all else. Below you’ll find five ways you can protect yourself from a dreaded Google Panda penalty, as well as future updates that will continue to roll out.
1. Focus On Readers First
Although SEO is important when it comes to ranking your website and driving traffic. When you’re creating your content you should have your readers in mind, not the search engine robots. This means your content should be reader focused, not stuffed with keywords, bad links, or other outdated SEO practices that worked years ago. This will only lead to a penalty.
The goal of your content should be to provide real value to your readers. This is the only way to build long term relationships, and will lead to increased links and social shares over time. Which will in turn help your rankings.
2. Upgrade Your Low-Quality Content
Google is continuously updating their algorithm to create the best user experience possible. So, instead of trying to find tactics to exploit Google you should turn your efforts to simply creating better content. Great content will never go out of style.
If you have old content on your website that’s either poorly written, has bad links, or is over-optimized, then you should either remove that content, or update the content to reflect current web standards. If you have multiple low word-count blog posts consider combining them into a larger, more valuable blog post.
If you are optimizing your content for certain keywords tread lightly. Google can detect keyword-stuffed content and can lead to a penalty if the keywords aren’t naturally integrated into the content, or appear too frequently.
3. Remove All Duplicate Content
If Google detects duplicate content across your site, this will greatly increase your chances of receiving a penalty. If you have multiple pages of duplicate content, then you’ll have three options at your disposal to remedy the issue.
- Use a 301 redirect to show Google which page is the original page.
- Delete the duplicate content entirely.
- Re-write the content, so it’s unrecognizable from its previous form.
- Focus on user experience.
Your readers value clean and minimal websites, so the search engines’ll also value them. To stay on the good side of Google, make sure you clean up your site with any unnecessary design features.
This means you’ll want to refrain from having too many ads, having a cluttered sidebar, or having any broken links. Although these steps are small, they’ll go a long way towards bulletproofing your website for current and future algorithm updates.
5. Improve The Speed Of Your Site
Your visitors won’t stick around to wait for your website to load, which can create a poor user experience. Google also won’t rank your site as highly if it’s slow to load. If your site takes more than a few seconds to load, then you could be looking at a penalty. GTmetrix is a great free tool to help analyze your site and provide suggestions to increase your speed.
To keep your website running at its ideal speed use a caching software, compress images whenever possible, stay away from Flash, and remove any plugins or bloated features that aren’t completely necessary.
If you’re using WordPress, then our managed solution has built in features to help increase your speed. With some of our tests, it’s actually helped make some sites up to 2.5x faster.
To create a bulletproof strategy that works for the long-term, focusing on delighting your users and the rankings will follow.