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10 Ways to Beat the Panda and Penguin in Your Content Strategy

It is extremely important that one continues to walk with the times. You might not like the changes that are occurring around you, but sometimes such changes are the requirements of time. After all, everything that you love today and consider to be a part of your life was once a new idea that the people then must have found difficult to adapt to. Google can be considered as a battlefield for all bloggers and website owners wherein they have to face a new fight to emerge triumphant among their competitors. In order to win this fight, change is a necessity. You must change your tactics according to the latest trends. A few months ago, Google introduced two updates, Panda and Penguin, which shook the foundation of some sites. The purpose of these updates is to filter out substandard quality websites. There might be many who felt that they had been caught by surprise with these updates and were struggling to get their bearings back.

The thing about Panda and Penguin that makes them worth panicking about is that they are unforgiving, thereby ensuring that those who do not follow their guidelines suffer through dire consequences. This is why it works in the favor of website owners to ensure that they remain within the boundaries set by these updates so that they do not face any repercussions.

10 Ways to Beat the Panda and Penguin in Your Content Strategy

Quality of content – The basic requirement of Panda

The basic aim of Panda is to ensure that only the websites of profound quality come to the attention of visitors and they do not have to suffer through useless sites that would take their time but will not tell them anything useful. In order to do so, Panda has been downgrading the sites that are not up to the mark in the SERPs.

Panda algorithm was introduced in the year 2011 by Google as a means to assist it in its endeavor to eradicate low quality content. Over the time before these updates came into play, numerous techniques had been adapted by content farms that ensured their high ranking in spite of being low in quality. They had resorted to tactics like high volume, over optimization of keywords and so on. While these tactics did earn them a high ranking, the readers were not so pleased. Such tactics also made high quality content get lost in the crowd, thereby depriving them of the rank that they deserved. While this did work for quite some time, with the introduction of Panda, things have changed for the better.

With such techniques no longer playing a role in their ranking, these sites were weeded out gradually. With the first Panda update, around 11 percent of the search results were shaken up. But with time, people began to understand the concept and started to take steps to sidetrack this update. Though the waves have somewhat subsided, Panda is still serving its basic purpose on a large scale.

Google update Panda 4.1 – A crack down

The latest update to Panda, Panda 4.1, was introduced on 25th September 2014. This time, the results were not as drastic with only 3 to 5% search rankings impacted. This, in no way, implies that this update has been unsuccessful. What can be inferred from this is that the update landed a softer punch than the time when it first came into action. While the basic aim of Panda remains intact, which is to wipe out the bad quality content from search engines, now it has another job on its hand. It has been updated so that small and medium sized sites which have high quality content can come to the top. This news is a ray of lightning for the websites that have not yet managed to attain a considerable amount of popularity and were striving hard to survive among large scale websites. This innovation also works in the favor of small, locally owned business corporations who now have a reason to strive harder to attain good quality for their site since it is their time to shine.

When it comes to SERPs, competition can be quite tough. However, with the help of Panda, small-scale companies who have a certain strategic content planned for their site can emerge on top. Whether they will be successful in their attempt or not is something that merely time can decide.

How Panda identifies its preys

If you want to steer clear of Panda’s wrath, it is essential to pay attention to how it identifies its offenders. What are the actions of the penalized websites that brought them under Panda’s attention? It is already apparent that Panda’s thirst is only quenched by devouring low quality content. However, one crucial question still remains. What exactly qualifies as bad content for Panda? How does it decide if a certain website is featuring substandard quality content? By examining some of the websites that have been penalized, few factors came into light that play a pivotal role in this selection.

User experience

Google aims to ensure that all its users get what they are looking for. They do not have to surf through useless pieces of information to get to the real thing. If a user has a bad experience on a site due to uninformative and less impressive content, the site comes under Panda’s radar.

Thin content

Most people tend to prefer content that is well explained and long. Long content has shown to attract more traffic and keep readers engaged. It has also been reported that such content tends to have a higher ROI.

Duplicate content

Google takes strict action against plagiarism of any kind and any website being engaged in this act will have to bear Panda’s brunt.

Keyword overuse

Keywords are meant to be used in a certain limit. Overdoing things might bring you some benefit for a short span of time, but will land you in trouble in the future.

Outdated content

This refers to the content that has been written ages ago, which is of no value and is incapable of attracting readers.

Role of Penguin in the war against low quality content

Penguin is more directed at dealing with spamming issues, particularly spamming links. Links that are repetitive tend to put readers off. Links should be inserted in a manner that they seem natural and focused. Irrelevance should not be a scenario. Try to focus all your energy into building the content and the rest will follow.

10 tips to handle Panda

10 tips to handle Panda

While we have outlined the factors that will deem you offensive for Panda and Penguin, we are now going to outline some tips that will ensure that you do not feel helpless in the war against Penguin and Panda.

Tip 1: Focus on content quality

At the end of the day, it all comes down to content. Panda will seem pleasant to you if your content matches its requirements. Therefore, the first thing that needs to be taken care of is content. Forming a high quality content is easier said than done since there are so many things to be taken into account. However, if you want to escape Panda’s attention, you must formulate a content that will fall in line with Google’s endeavor of providing users with a profound experience. The steps that could come in handy with regards to building up quality include:

Focus on content quality

  • Researching before writing: What is your targeted audience? What is it that they are looking for? What type of writing and content keeps them hooked? Finding answers to these questions will work in your favor by a margin.
  • Topics that are trending: Always keep an eye on the latest trends relevant to your website. It is not enough to provide good content. You need to do stay with the times as well.
  • Making use of examples and illustrations: Supporting your content with authentic examples and illustrations will ensure that your reader will be able to grasp what you are exactly trying to convey. Professional help can be taken for this purpose.
  • Formatting: Do not forget to properly format your content. Use bullet points and proper paragraphs to convey your thoughts.
  • Proofread: Proofreading is never enough. Repeat it numerous times to ensure that your content is completely free from all sorts of errors. Having spelling and grammar mistakes can be detrimental for your content.

While this may seem like a long and tiring task, it is better to do it now. If you accomplish this now, you will not have to worry about being Panda’s next target when the next update comes into play.

Tip 2: Be relevant and informed

Panda expects you to be at the top of your game. You need to keep your content updated and in line with the current times. Featuring content that was relevant ages ago will incur a great deal of damage to your site. Make sure that the facts you present are all latest.

Tip 3: Some content stays forever

If you think that constantly developing new content that is on par with Panda’s guidelines is an impossible feat for you, you have the option to opt for evergreen content. These are topics that will never grow out of fashion and will always be of interest to readers. Some examples include:

  • Detailed instructions to perform a certain task
  • Reference material
  • Top tip posts
  • Questions being asked frequently
  • Certain guidelines for business.

Featuring such content will be a win-win situation for all.

Tip 4: Be careful in using keywords

Keywords are pivotal for your content and also play a major role when it comes to Panda selection. You need to ensure that the density of keywords that form a part of your content is kept in check and does not reach an alarming number. While it is important to feature keywords in your content, it is equally necessary that a check is maintained as to the number of times such keywords are used.

Be careful in using keywords

Keywords are required to generate traffic. However, a certain limit has to be set. The standard limit is to keep the density to 2 to 4%. This is a tricky situation, especially since Google keeps on bringing about changes in its algorithm. Thus, there is no surefire way of ensuring that you attain keywords without coming into Panda’s face.

The key is to amalgamate the keywords into the content in the most natural way possible without making them appear forced.

Tip 5: Avoid duplication

While seeking inspiration and ideas is not wrong, plagiarism is something that will bring you serious repercussions. Look for ideas, but do not copy the work of others if you want to stay on Google’s better side.

Tip 6: Long content

If impressing Panda is your agenda, you need to ensure that your content is well explained in a detailed manner. Long content is the latest factor that has a pivotal effect on SERPs. Do not exaggerate to a large extent, but 2000 words might prove to be the ideal starting point.

Tip 7: Do not stray

While it is acceptable to discuss a few topics here and there, never forget why your website was created. What is the basic foundation of your site? Formulate content that is in line with the basic theme of your website. Do not astray too much that it becomes difficult to come back.

Tip 8: Pay attention to formatting

Never forget to properly format your content if you do not want to displease Panda. Bullet points and paragraphs are a necessity.

Tip 9: Be careful of what you link

To avoid confrontation with Penguin, create content that will be able to serve as an attractive platform for high quality links from other sources. Try to imagine yourself in the shoes of others and decide whether you want to feature certain links on your own website or not.

Tip 10: Keep it engaging

Readers resort to your site because they wish to learn something new.  If you wish to keep both Panda and your readers happy, always feature informative and interesting content. A reader should never feel that his time has been wasted on your site.

Panda and Penguin do have the power to create chaos, but the matter does not necessarily have to be so serious. Just stick to their guidelines and you will have no reason to worry about them. You will be able to keep everyone, including your readers, impressed. Use these tips to create content that Google will feel proud to feature.

Thus, do not opt for shortcuts. Go through the proper route and success will come your way.