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Panda 20 and EMD Google Algorithm Recovery Plan
Panda EMD Recovery Graph
Google Algorithm Recovery Plan
A few days after Google released their Exact Match Domain algorithmic update news started to filter through that they had quietly, and simultaneously, released a Panda Update. There can be no doubt that the decision to hold back the announcement was an attempt to muddy the waters and making it more difficult for us to determine, and separate, the effects of each release on those websites who lost rankings. Just to keep things interesting, Google also released their latest Penguin update and a new version of "Top Heavy" the following week.
This exact dates of the releases were as follows:
- Thursday Sept 27th - Google Panda 20 (it took the whole weekend to roll out)
- Friday September 28th - Exact Match Domain Algorithm
- Friday October 5th - Penguin 3
- Tuesday October 9th - Top Heavy Version 2
The good news is that if you have a Google Analytics account you'll be able to determine from the date that your visitor stats declined whether you've been thwacked by the Google Panda or Penguin.
What's really noticeable is that all the major search engine news websites haven't yet started commenting on what was actually contained in Panda 20. The reason for this is that no-one is willing to put their head on the block and take a guess. Frankly, I'm not going to either. What I am going to do here is give you some strategies to look more appealing to Google, and I've come up with these based on my observations of google's corporate chess game over the last year and a half.
Understanding How To Recover From Being Google-Thwacked
If you've been flushed to the bottom of the search engine results, whatever you do, don't abandon your website too quickly, in fact the best thing to do for the next couple of weeks is keep building. Trust me, I've been there.
Just create a few more pages and submit them to the google index using Google Webmaster Tools as usual. It's important that you don't do anything hasty at this stage - my regular readers will already know that google has a "shoot it if it moves" algorithm which detects unnatural changes to a website immediately following a sudden loss of ranking. What this means is that google may consider you a spammer if you make huge changes to your website right now. Just keep doing what you were doing, as long as it's all White Hat and above board.
Align Your Website With Google's Future Objectives
Like any other company, Google has their own objectives and agendas. The three most important which affect you are:
- Keep search engine results relevant and meaningful to their users so that they retain their market share of search traffic
- Monetize their business and continue to make a profit and please their shareholders (Google Adwords, Checkout, Shopping etc)
- Enter new markets with potential to increase turnover (Google+ & Android)
I can almost hear your frustration now about the idea of relevant and meaningful content. I too had a website in the top three search results with 100% original content and I was flushed to page 2 for three whole weeks - but I'm back in the top 5 results for all of my main key phrases now. It's happened before, and I recovered every time - you can too. (Follow me on Hubpages, Google+ etc for updates.)
Try to put aside your frustration for a moment and look at Google as a corporation with a business plan, and suddenly the way to avoid getting thwacked by the big google hammer becomes clear. Watch Google closely for their future intentions and their new algorithmic updates will no longer come as a surprise. This revelation has only just hit me - so here's my short term plan. (The long term plan will form and I'll share it with you as it unfolds.)
- Remove all advertising from "above the fold" - Google's "Top Heavy" algorithm penalises websites which don't contain enough "actual content above the fold". Above the fold means the part of the screen which is visible before any scrolling occurs. Do your most important pages first and don't do it all at the same time - just a few pages a day then resubmit to index.
- Make sure you've installed Google+ share buttons on your content
- Make sure you have a Google+ page and broadcast social messages, find appropriate hashtags to broadcast to and encourage followers. If you're a local business, then having a Google+ page is now absolutely essential - don't ignore this priceless opportunity.
- Do a backlinks site audit and take a long hard look at who's linking to you. If you're not scoring back links with page rank, then you need to look into this urgently. Directory back links are worthless these days - you're better off having one back link with a PR of 2, than 1,000 directory back links with no value at all. Forget about trying to get the worthless ones removed for the moment (in the absence of an announcement from google to the contrary), your energy is much better spent acquiring high value links.
- Sign up for Google Authorship and tag your best articles on your pages with your google author profile, then do the same with your best external articles.
Finally, the last thing I noticed about the latest google algorithm update is that there's been a localisation of search results. For example, .com websites are most prominently featured in google.com, and my .co.uk website isn't. That's not necessarily a bad thing for me, however if you're not a .com site and you're selling globally, then this may cause you some issues.
Before you start your road to recovery, make a spreadsheet and go through the google index and track where your best pages appear for all of your important key phrases, and watch for improvement. Check every few days. It's time consuming, but worth it because you'll see whether you're making a difference with your efforts. Things might improve quicker, but mostly it would be at least four weeks before you see any improvements.
If you're genuinely interested in SEO and you'd rather someone else keep you informed, then follow me on Hubpages and / or Google+ so that you hear about updates as they come along, and you might also want to read my SEO daily online newspaper - which you'll find via my Google+ page. If you haven't already signed up to hub pages - it's a great way to generate quality back links and traffic from your articles and, if you're a prolific writer, a nice way to make a small second income (I get a portion of revenue from the sponsored adverts on the page when they're clicked).
Finally, please let me know what you think, and share your experiences in the comments box below. The more information we have, the quicker we'll all recover.