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!