24.02.2018      204      0

Has Google Panda Ruined Your Business Website Traffic?

Has Google Panda Ruined Your Business Website TrafficAlgorithms are programs — not people — and they can mistake a good site for a spammy one, or a spammy site as a good one.  With the last big Panda update, many larger sized, legitimate, reputable businesses, and information sites began reporting significant traffic declines despite following Google’s webmaster guidelines regarding content.  If powerful business sites who were not using blackhat techniques suffered you may wonder what happened to their traffic?

The most likely answer is content issues.  These sites were weak on content — at least according to Google’s new robot enforced standards — and so are now appearing less in certain searches.

While content issues may be more obvious for eBay and Amazon — companies that sell products over information so content pages are naturally shorter and subject to individual writers\’ whims, it is less obvious why some seemingly great sites also got hit with content issues.

Q& A sites that offer great information and are considered trusted sites that are visited by millions of people every day (ie., Yahoo! and Ask.com) had more scant content pages than they did full content pages and so Google smacked them down.

I know, seems unfair.  At least a little because many questions don\’t really require 800 words of content to answer.  Still, Google now is hitting sites hard and fast when it deems a site to be content insufficient.

If your site is struggling, here are a few things to take a good, hard look at before considering starting a new site, or some other drastic action that is probably not needed to get you back into Google’s good graces.

  • Twenty Things You Didn\’t Know You Could Do With Google Search
  • Fun Google Gimmicks and Tools
  • You Can Do That With Google?
  • 11 Free Google Tools to Build Your Online Business
  • How to Use Google To Study Consumers Interests
  • Free Tools From Google To Help You Assess Consumer Interests

Should You Make Drastic Changes to Your Website, or Just Tweak Certain Things?

That depends on whether or not you were caught with your hand in the cookie jar or simply made an honest mistake.

If you were knowingly trying to game Google with blackhat tricks, it was simply a matter of time before your shortcuts backfired.  Perhaps in the short-term you can get away with tricky tactics, but Matt Cutts (head of Google’s web spam team) will always be gunning for you.  In fact, the very reason Matt has a job is because people spend disproportionate amounts of time trying to find easy short cuts to success on the web with ‘house-of-straw’ websites when they should be investing their time building a brick house.

You will probably need to make major changes and may even have to appeal to Google for a website reconsideration.  However, before doing so, I strongly suggest you readGoogle Webmaster guidelines so you know what it is you are doing wrong and how to do it right from here on out.  If you paid someone else to marketing services, and suspect that your marketing company destroyed your website’s reputation due to blackhat marketing, it is time to find another company.

You followed the rules, but still got devoured by Panda.  Then it is probably your content, keyword density, or maybe you have too many ads on your website or your links pass along too much to outside sites.  Fix it, tweak your SEO, and social networking accordingly.  But be patient as it can take months of hard work to turn a site around and increase traffic, and, with Google’s new algorithms, it has never been harder to do well than it is now.

  • How to Check Your Position in Google by Search Term
  • 5 SEO Tips You Should Never Follow
  • How to Check Your Position in Google by Search Term
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Strategies
  • How to Avoid Being Taken by SEO Scam Artists

You May Have Too Many Ads on Your Website

If you have great content, but shortcomings in other areas, your site could still suffer.  For example, too many ads on a page (Google recommends no more than two or three) or even placed too prominently on the page, or, ads not being properly identified as such, can get you into hot water with Google no matter how great your content is.  Additionally, ads that are not properly identified as ads or that do not have the \»nofollow” in the link can create issues for site owners.

Google is now especially offended by those tricky ads that appear to be \»related news\» when in fact they are link to paid sponsor websites.  If you get caught doing this you could get into big trouble with Google\’s search engines as well as have your Google ads privileges rescinded.

  • How to Use Nofollow Tags and Why You Need Them
  • Make Money with Google Ads
  • Four Ways to Make Money with a Media Website
  • 5 Things You Should Know About Affiliate Ads

To Blog, or Not to Blog?

Do not blog for the sake of adding pages, and do deindex pages that are unimportant.  Also, do not add pages just to capture longtail searches unless you really, really know what you are doing.

Blogging has become more about search engines than people and in this case is detrimental to your website.  But even when you do it right for search engines, you still need to have a message that connects with people.  If your blog content is written for search engines you might get good results in queries, but if you do not write for your visitors they won’t stick around even if they find you in searches.

Even when you do it right for search engines, you still need to have a message that connects with people.  If your content is written for search engines you might get good results in queries, but if you do not write for your visitors they won’t stick around even if they find you in searches.

  • Frequently Asked Questions About Weblogs and Blogs
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Weblogs and Blogs
  • Blogging Tips for Lawyers and Legal Professionals

Too Many Fluff Pages Will Hurt You In Search Engines

Google now penalizes websites whose brand footprint is disproportionate to the size of their website.  In other words, if you have hundreds or thousands of pages on your website to capture long tail searches with meaningless pages and no social branding, Google could penalize your website.  This is one of the reasons many larger sites are now doing away with their blogs.  Blogging just to build the size of your site can have a detrimental impact on the performance of important pages.

  • How to Use Long Tail Keywords for Website Marketing
  • What Is the Long Tail and How Does It Apply to Google?
  • Long Tail Search Engine Optimization

Adding 100 pages to target every city that you serve may now been treated as gratuitous content.  There is a way to do this, according to Google, but you better follow Google’s rules and never assume because you another website doing something that it is the right way to do it.

The bottom line is that, if you have been penalized or blacklisted, it will be a lot easier to understand (and fix) why your website is not pulling its weight for you.  If your site is underperforming and you are following all the rules,  check your Google webmaster reports and ask a few friends to visit your website and give an honest assessment of your content.

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