Category Archives: SEO

Google’s Panda Update – Looking back at 2011

ooking back at 2011, this was undoubtedly the year of the Google Panda update, dubbed by many “the year of the Panda” – one of the major changes that affected every website in the search results. The implementation of their updated algorithm was intended to serve up higher-quality search results to their users, improving the user experience by removing results that contained duplicate content or very thin content. A much needed update and it did help substantially to remove a lot of spam and lower-quality results. However, in the process Panda also tossed a lot of honest websites with well thought-out, original content into the gutter.

How can a website avoid the Google Panda slap?

There is no fool-proof 100% guaranteed way to avoid any penalty from a third-party, it’s just not possible. But what can be done is simple; write high-quality, original content. Although simple it can be quick time consuming and difficult to consistently produce top quality content that attracts a large audience of readers. This problem can be solved by outsourcing some of your content creation to high-quality writers in order to spread the job. Of course this takes more resources but it is a realistic solution to a very real problem. Social media sharing and recency are also important know as well, sharing your content and generating buzz will prove useful.

Google’s Panda – Not finished yet!

The thing about Panda is that’s it’s not just one shift in rankings that was rolled out last year, it’s an on-going constantly updated aspect of Google (every 4-8 weeks) that we all must pay attention to. A couple of weeks back there was another Panda update and we should be prepared for more updates in the future.

Keyword Research Tools – What to use?

There are many keyword research tools, and it’s common for people to become stuck using a single tool such as always relying on Google’s Adwords keyword tool. However, relying solely on one source of information lends itself to blind spots and that is something that should be avoid in order to maximize and achieve optimal result from any given SEO campaign.

Google’s Keyword Tool – less than perfect?

It’s was noted recently that Google’s keyword tool is less than perfect as a keyword discovery tool with regards to it’s “suggestion” functionality. This should not be a major issue as the ideal keyword research phase involves more than simply punching in keywords into Google’s tool and taking what it spits back at you. A multi-tiered approach is always ideal to discover all of the available opportunities. This means using a variety of tools. For instance, Microsoft Advertising Intelligence is a tool that incorporates into Excel and provides easy to access keyword metrics and discovery features. There are also a variety of lesser known keyword tools that will grab data from sources such as Google’s instant suggestions which can prove useful – additionally further keyword discovery options include Wikipedia, Google Insights, Yahoo Answers, niche forums, and a good client interview process.

Ultimately, it takes ingenuity and creativity to incorporate all sources of information together and to make the most of processing the data. That said, some of these tools have more use than just keyword discovery such as examining the potential profitability and traffic of keywords once they’ve been discovered through other means. I just recently read a great blog post about keyword research that discusses making better use of the information obtained from clients; this is crucial in keyword gathering because it provides insight not only into valuable keywords but keywords that provide the best value for the SEO client.

Diversifying keyword research tools

Keyword research tools are after-all just tools, the best ‘keyword research tool’ for keyword discovery will always be the operator of the tools. Discovering keywords can be approached systematically but the usage of tools in the process is always limited to the operators know-how and creativity. The real message I’d like to express here is that it’s important to always keep an open mind, pay attention to, and make use of new tools and methods. The tools of the present always seem to change or vanish (Yahoo Site Explorer) and it’s not always clear when those changes will happen or have already happened. The best way to safe-guard against these inevitable shifts and changes having a negative impact on our process, or any other process reliant on them, is by diversifying the usage and implementation of the various keyword research tools at our disposal.