Search engine updates can be great for consumers, but a real headache for web designers and content creators. Google in particular actively creates algorithm changes designed to keep content valuable and fresh, and the search engine giant’s vigilance keeps SEO firms and web administrators on their toes.
Panda 3.8 Update
Since releasing its Panda 3.8 refresh on June 25th, Google had been busy denying rumors of a 3.9 update. Just about a month later, the new update occurred as predicted. While the original Panda release in February of 2011 impacted 11 percent of indexed sites, the most recent Panda refresh will only affect 1 percent of the sites contained in Google’s index.
One percent may not sound significant, but the number actually reflects a large number of sites. The goal is to filter out the spam sites that clog Google’s search engine result pages. As long as you avoid black hat practices, your site should be fine. If you practice black hat tactics, you should have been aware of what might happen.
How to Avoid Being Impacted by Panda
Since Google’s goal is to reduce the number of spam sites as much as possible, there are measures you can take so your site isn’t impacted by Panda updates. If your search rankings have already been affected, these steps can also help you climb back up in the Google rankings.
Always use legitimate SEO strategies. In addition to avoiding black hat tactics, read Google’s webmaster guidelines in order to ensure that your site stays in the search engine’s good graces. Contained in Google’s Webmaster Tools at Google Support, the guidelines cover quality, design, content and technical issues.
Social Media Promotion
Social media has long been touted as a valid, effective means of promoting your websites. Now, it’s emerging as the safest as well. Use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites to drive traffic to your site, get good links and establish positive communication within your industry’s community.
Protecting Your Ranking
Search engine updates can be nerve-wracking, but using a common-sense approach can protect you from these increasingly frequent algorithm changes. Google’s attempts to weed out spam sites are a major source of concern for anyone involved with search engine optimization.
If you use legitimate SEO tactics, however, you’ll have nothing to worry about in terms of rankings. Avoid black hat practices, opting instead for quality content and good links. Use social media to maintain positive ties within your industry and promote your sites in a healthy, mutually beneficial way.
This Content is Currency post was written by Stephen Craig, who is a part of an elite team of SEO consultants and enjoys writing about the latest trends in search engine optimization. Follow him @SCraigSEO.