Optimising Long Tail Keywords After Google’s Panda Update

This is a guest article by John Simons. You too can be part of this great knowledge sharing community. Take a look at our guest blogging guidelines

Google updates its search algorithm nearly every day with small changes which most websites never even notice however in the last few months we have seen an update that has got a lot of media attention and that is the ‘panda’ update.

The reason this has got a lot of attentions is because many websites that have been associated with complete white hat seo techniques such as SEOmoz have had a dip in their long tail keyword rankings. The long tail keywords refers to key phrases that are specific to your market, so for example a jewellery box website’s main keyword might be ‘jewellery box’ and one of their long tail keywords might be ‘black leather jewellery box’.

The long tail keywords can bring in a lot of good solid targeted traffic to a website and so a website that might have relied on lots of long tail keywords will have been affected the worst with this update.

Why just the long tails?

This is a good question and one of the main reasons is that a lot of seo’s used content websites and article directories such as Ezine Articles to create links back to their long tail pages. What the ‘panda’ update appears to have done is devalue the links from content farms and so in reality people’s websites have not been penalised, they have simply had some of their links devalued.

Ok, so what now?


The first thing to do is not to panic and start getting rid of links and content that you have already posted on content websites such as Ezine Articles. There is still some value in the links, it has just been devalued.

There really isn’t a right answer at this point however my personal checklist would be the following:

1. Get some fresh new content on your website targeting your long tail keywords as Google loves new content and make sure it is original. Then submit this into the Social Bookmarking websites such as Digg, Delicious etc.

2. Have a look at the internal link structure of your website and make sure the internal links to your long tail pages from the high Page Rank pages such as your index page are in place.

3. Look at what long tail keywords you dropped down in i.e. was it across the board or just a few long tail keywords. Once this is known you need to begin a direct link building campaign to get these lost rankings back again.

4. Finally make sure you have no duplicate content on your own website as this is not a good thing to have. If you do then get rid of the page that is ranking lower and this should then boost the other page that was duplicated.

This is just one of those updates that has caught everyone a little off guard however there is no need to panic. The formula has not changed in theory as new links and new original content is still the best way to rank well on Google!

  • Hi john,

    Thanks for this info, I really have a lot of long tail keywords here. I don’t even know if it will be rank or the google will crawl this kind of keywords, well as you did, I will follow along to it. I did not even know that this bunch of long tail keywords can boost traffic to the site. I will try it now the tips you gave. thank you so much..

  • If you are still not able to understand that how to get long tails keywords then check your analytic stats keyword section. You will get lots of long tail keyword typed by users and from which query they visited your website or blogs.

  • There are few websites which have got some more Google love after this algorithmic update.

  • Hi John,

    Google hates duplicate content and that’s what was happening in articles and now google has devalued those links it means if you have new and quality content only then you can rank well in search engines specially in Google or else you won’t be search results.

  • Excellent article John … !! Long Tail keywords are being extremely helpful for my blog in driving organic traffic.

  • Long tail keywords are an art all their own, I think. They show up sporadically in your copy seemingly by themselves. I say “seemingly” because it’s still you placing your phrases in the best possible position to further your brand. They also let you know what people are in search of when they find your site.


  • Google’s Panda update has really created havoc all over, and has left SEOs confused all over the world. Apart from that, the biggest problem is that no one, except the people at Google know what exactly is their search algorithm. As far as long tail keywords are concerned, they undoubtedly bring you the most traffic.

  • Having a long tail keywords is very new to me. It is because I thought short keywords are better since these are easy to retain in the memory. I agree that duplicate content should be avoided.

  • I agree about using long-tail keywords, John. I admit I haven’t been focusing much on keywords in my articles lately, but I know that they have brought me a substantial amount of traffic and have helped place me in the first page of Google SERPs.

    The great thing about these long-tail keywords is that they are focused mainly on you and your business. So, naturally, they help get the word out.

    Cool article, John. Appreciate your sharing it with us.

  • Google panda update really effected many site. But i have question only some of the domain it been effected . example my site is not ranking for google.com but at the same time it been ranking in google.com(refrel)

  • it is very helpful and excellent article

  • Today, all the people are suffering from Google panda 🙁

  • Long tail has been around for a while actually but for some reason many people still does not understand that “this is the real language” used by users. No one searches for the term “money” alone as they already know that the results will not only be massive but useless and not relevant to what they want. This is where “long tail” comes into play. It is most likley that a user searching for something will type in “how to make moeny with…” and that is what we should be targeting on, as far as SEO is concerned. Panda is all welcome in my books as they did get rid of many crappy sites that were not providing any quality content at all.

  • Thanks for this article i imagine how long tail keywords can survive with google panda.

  • Google hates duplicate content and that’s what was happening in articles and now google has devalued those links it means if you have new and quality content only then you can rank well in search engines

  • Hi John, that Panda is really cute, just like Po… haha! Anyway, looks like content is still the most important. We need to publish original content frequently!

  • Personally I have hit back with lots of internal\external linking on my site and also using unique content along with blog commenting and have only seen an increase in SERPS.

  • Thanks for these tips. I was also a experienced a bit of Panda panic but it seems like it’s not as bad as I initially thought. Just have to work in other areas a bit more now, like you said.

  • This update did some weird things to my site.
    In google.co.uk it is unvisible (from spot 27) and in google.com it shot up to #19.
    Any advice for me?

  • Very helpful and excellent article. Long tail keywords are being extremely helpful for any blog in driving targeted traffic. The main important is the quality content.

  • Google can disclose as much as it wants….where is their competition? No one does business on the internet without mastering the two most essential tools – Facebook and Google.
    The sudden, massive influx of those seeking to make money online through blogging, e-commerce, affiliate marketing has allowed Google to reach god-like status. You will either submit to its commands, or spend eternity in internet hell.

  • rnd technologies

    Good think.