10 Ways to Work with Google’s Pandas and Penguins

In the past few years, Google’s updates frustrated honest marketers who thought they were following all of the rules yet wound up getting kicked back in page rank. Well, now Google is clearly updating their algorithms in an attempt to further reduce spammers – not upset advertisers and businesses who are using ethical practices.

In fact, October’s Penguin 3.0 update did not destroy months of SEO and marketing efforts for businesses that have worked in the wake of the 2013 Panda and Hummingbird updates. But the truth is, there should be no more fear that future updates will react with your site as they did in years past.

Google Panda and Penguin
photo credit: Ognian Mladenov

The best way to stay ahead is to stay current with Google’s webmaster tools. They have been very good about telling us what tools to use and providing straightforward tips that can be employed to remain compliant.

The problem is that most small business owners don’t have the extra time to delve deeply into the Google fray. However, we are a certified Google company so we can share the highlights that will allow you to sidestep having to know as much as a professional SEO marketing company.

We’ve put together the top 10 steps you can take now to ensure your website’s positive results continue to grow.

10 Steps to Stay in the Compliant Zone

Use as many of these tactics as possible, as it will keep your website safe, sound and growing:

1. Inner Links

Don’t link back to your home page with the keyword “home”. Website architecture and proper navigation flow are key.

2. Page Load Speed

Your pages should load in less than 10 seconds. Less than 6 is best. Using plugins, page load speed reduction software, optimize on-site photos and browser optimization, increase the speed of your site’s page load time.

3. Bounce Rate Reduction

If your analytics is showing a bounce rate of over 75%, then you know you are attracting the wrong visitors to your site. It means it is time to revise your keyword strategy.

4. Interest Your Visitors

Stop trying to engage Google and start providing your site’s visitors with helpful information.

5. Remove Ads Positioned to Trick Visitors

You may be in it for the advertising revenue, but a sure way to turn off visitors is to try to trick them. Plugging text ads in the middle of similar information is intentionally confusing and no one likes it.

Google logo on an apple
photo credit: Ana Belen Ramon

6. Forget About Directory Submission

Google’s 2013 Panda update is on the look-out for mass directory submissions, social media content wheels and article distribution sites. So avoid all of them.

7. Fine Tune Your Brand

Your time is going to be well spent if you think about what your customers and visitors are looking for and how to best provide it. Make buying your product or service a no-brainer.

8. Localize Your Business

Make sure your site is properly cited on the local networks of the major search engines, such as Google Plus, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp and FourSquare. If you don’t know how to do that, go to each search engine and locate their local website registration.

9. Mobile Devices

If you haven’t already addressed the mobile market, you are already getting behind. Over 40% of business is coming from mobile and is growing steadily. Make sure your website is scaling and designed for mobile as well as desktop.

10. Expert Advice

Provide expert advice to sites that can help raise your authority reputation. Guest posts are also a great way to demonstrate your company’s stature and commitment to helping customers.