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Have We Been Wrong about Panda All Along?

Posted by Avasoft Team | Posted in Content Writing | Posted on 19-11-2015

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SEO was built on short spammy articles stuffed with keywords back in the day. Now everyone knows that short articles of poor quality and articles with duplicate content will crush a website. But will they actually? While every SEO guru out there acts sure that they know quality writing matters, nothing is certain in the land of search engine optimization and the Panda update isn’t just about short articles or duplicate content. There’s a lot more that you have to understand.

Duplicate Content: It’s on Everyone’s Mind

The Moz Q&A has more than 1800 pages talking about duplicate content, so it’s pretty clear that it’s an issue webmasters all over the world are worried about. At a recent Google hangout John Mueller admitted that most websites have duplicate content in one form or another, and he stated that duplicate content doesn’t really have a negative impact on the rankings of the site. Rather, Google simply selects the page with the best content, even if it’s one of seven duplicates.

While duplicate content is an issue, it’s not nearly the massive problem that some website owners make it out to be. I’m not going to tell you how to take care of your duplicate content problems, because there is a pretty comprehensive Google guide on the matter here.

It’s important to try and make all of your content unique, but you shouldn’t stress about having more than one of the same description around your website, or about advertising a product in multiple locations. You’re going to end up with some duplicate content no matter how hard you try, but you should be alright as long as you aren’t blatantly copying the work of other people and passing it off as your own.

Thin Content Shouldn’t Be Removed According to Google

Many gurus suggest that you should take down thin content from your site, or simply add additional words and ideas to those articles to make them longer and more valuable. According to Gary Illyes from Google, you really shouldn’t take thin content down from your site, but instead focus on adding more quality content. In other words, having the thin content isn’t really going to hurt you, it’s just not going to help you that much either. You need the quality content to do well in search, but you can save yourself the time and trouble of removing thin content, because it does offer some value as well.

The more important question to ask yourself when looking at pages on your site is will searchers be happy with the content you’ve presented them with? If you look at a page and you feel like it completely covers the topic that you’re discussing, there isn’t a reason to consider taking the page down or changing it. If you have a lot of pages that barely cover a topic, or don’t cover a large portion of the topic you should consider removing them or improving on them. Taking the time to improve your pages will do the most for your rankings, but taking out very poor pages could help you avoid some Google Panda penalties. If you end up with a very high bounce rate from certain pages, they are the ones that will likely hurt your rankings the most.

Panda is About Quality Pure and Simple

For years Google has been trying to figure out ways to improve search results, and it seems like Panda was finally the change that made all the difference. I think that Panda is about rooting out those top sites around the Internet and feeding more traffic to them.

Many of the sites that were hit by Panda didn’t just suffer from duplicate content or thin content. They lacked what customers were looking for. Some have overly complicated navigation, others have poor shopping carts and some sites simply don’t offer as much helpful information as their competitors.

To figure out how to improve your website for Panda, you should really be figuring out how to make your website more appealing to people. Have experts and non-experts audit your site. Have them look around at yours and several competitors without telling whos site is whos if they don’t already know. Then have them pick their favorite and least favorite and list of reasons why.

It’s this type of problem solving and critical thinking that will sites hit by Panda recover. It’s likely that just adding content or fixing duplication issues isn’t enough to get a website out of a Panda rut. It’s just not that simple. Figuring out how to have all the marks of a leading business is really the only way to get yourself out, and that’s not easy.

An industry leading website:

  • gets a higher click through rate than competitors
  • has a lower bounce rate overall
  • is shared more often on social media
  • engages with users more
  • answers questions more completely

It’s these types of milestones that you want to shoot for if you’re trying to recover your website. Even if you aren’t trying to recover you should get information about your competitors and try to figure out ways to make your website better than theirs. Even if all the work doesn’t improve your rankings in the short term it will leave you with a higher quality website that brings added benefits to you over the long haul.

While there is still no definite criteria for the Panda update, and Google is still rolling out new updates to the algorithm all the time, it looks like some serious website overhauls are what it’s going to take to bring those rankings back up. Stop focusing on minor details like thin content or duplicate content and focus on the big picture. Is your website the best in your niche, or do you have some work to do?

Avasoft Solutions offers web design, search engine optimization, social media optimization, and pay per click advertising. Contact us today!

Strategizing Content to Work Within Panda and Penguin

Posted by Avasoft Team | Posted in Content Writing, Site Traffic | Posted on 18-02-2015

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At the end of 2014, Google released Panda and Penguin, two new updates that are intended to get rid of bad content and spammy links. The penalties for bad content and spammy links can be harsh, so this is a good time to reevaluate your content.

Quality Content

Panda’s update is intended to push websites into providing high-quality content and kick offenders down in SERPs. Panda was originally introduced back in 2011 for the purpose of eliminating low-quality content farms. Back then, content farms were getting pretty good rankings simply because of the volume of content they were producing. However, the quality of the content was crap. Content farms were also keyword-stuffing their content. This got them high search rankings, while the better quality content was being pushed down to page two. Panda played an important role in weeding out content farms and making room for high-quality content on page one. There’s still some bad content out there, though. New updates to Panda are minor tweaks, not major shakeups like we saw in 2011.

The newest update of Panda, Panda 4.1, came out last fall. It affected 3 – 5% of search queries. This update is great news for small and medium sized businesses who have great content and want to boost their search rankings. So how do you know if you have bad content? Here’s what you need to look out for.

  1. Your web content needs to offer value to users. Google is fully committed to giving its users a great experience. If your site is full of boring, useless information, you are providing users with a bad experience and preventing Google from achieving its goals. The next Panda update could be bad news for you.
  2. Your web content should be shifting toward longer form. The trend in the industry is toward longer, more in-depth content. Instead of a 600 word article, go for a more substantial 1200 or 1800 word article. It generates more traffic, and keeps users on your site longer.
  3. Don’t use duplicate content. It isn’t news that duplicate content will earn you a Google penalty, and that continues to be true.
  4. Don’t keyword stuff. The experts have been saying this for years, but people are still doing it. It will get you penalties, and it won’t work.
  5. Use information that is current and relevant. If you are referring to a particular study, then it had better be recent, and the results had better be accurate. Panda will penalize you for outdated or incorrect information.

How to Improve Your Content

  1. Research thoroughly, before you write. Know what your audience wants, and create content that delivers to those wants.
  2. Know what’s trending. Your content should be timely and useful. You need to know what’s trending with your demographic so that you can deliver content that will interest them.
  3. Provide specific examples. Don’t rely on abstract explanations. Instead, give concrete examples or use infographics. Including good links to help your visitors get more information.
  4. Format carefully. This is essential for a good user experience. We tend to skim, not to read closely and thoroughly. Keep this in mind, and make sure that you break up the content with bold headlines and bullet points so that readers can glean information at a glance.
  5. Always proofread. Grammatical errors can actually hurt your search rankings. Even if you manage to sneak into the top search rankings with grammatical errors, it will damage your image in the eyes of your visitors. A visitor won’t take your business seriously if your site is full of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

Avasoft Solutions offers web design, search engine optimization, social media optimization, and pay per click advertising. Contact us today!

5 Engaging Content Ideas for Your Website

Posted by Avasoft Team | Posted in Content Writing, Site Traffic | Posted on 19-06-2014

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Great content should be the core of your online marketing strategy. After all, that is what represents your business and attracts your audience.

Why Content Matters

There are several reasons that make quality content so important.

  1. High quality content will be highly rated by Google. Your content should be original, valuable, and free of spelling or grammatical errors. This matters because the new algorithms that are in use will rank your content like a human reader would.
  2. High quality content is more likely to be shared. The number one reason that most people use the internet is for social media. If your content is attractive enough that people are inclined to share it, you have the potential to reach a huge audience.
  3. If readers are intrigued by your content, they are more likely to return to your site and subscribe to your mailing lists.

How to Develop Great Content

When it comes to web content, it’s about quality, not quantity. The days of automated article submission tools are long gone. Developing high-quality content is a bit tougher, so use these tips to help you out.

  1. Diversify. Make your content more interesting by using audio, video, infographics, and images.
  2. Schedule some time to work on your web content. Block out the distractions, and give yourself the opportunity to be creative. Think about what your readers will be interested in seeing without worrying about SEO or online marketing yet.
  3. Let other sources inspire you. Talk to other people in your industry and see what you can learn from them. Interact with your audience on social media and see what they have to see. Remember that sometimes you can learn more from listening than you can from talking.
  4. Make your writing web-friendly. You need to take a different approach than you would in print. Use small chunks of valuable information and employ lists and short paragraphs to convey information. Formats such as top lists, product reviews, and how-to guides are great options.
  5. Publish consistently. You should be able to offer new information to your readers when they come back to visit. Don’t go overboard, though. Remember that quality is more important than quantity.

Ideas for Engaging Content

Once you’ve spent a fair amount of time writing content, it can get pretty dry. You may be in need of some inspiration. Check out these ideas for creating engaging content.

  1. FAQs: The frequently asked questions (FAQs) section of your site is essential. It does just what the name implies – it lists the questions that customers often ask and gives the answers to those questions. The FAQ section is very helpful to your audience, because it can answer most of their questions at a glance.
  2. Tips: Tips are a great way to show your expertise in your field. They also make great bait for sharing.
  3. Outlines: An outline of the basics of a particular field is a good way to give an overview of a topic to your audience. When a complicated topic is gaining attention in the media, take the opportunity to simplify it for your readers.
  4. Quizzes: Quizzes catch your readers’ eyes because they are fun. How many online quizzes have you taken recently? Many websites have entire sections devoted to quizzes, and you should consider using them on your site, too.
  5. Live Video: Live video is a great way to interact with your audience and become engaged. You can use a service like Google Hangout to share content and have a discussion with your audience.

Avasoft Solutions offers web design, search engine optimization, social media optimization, and pay per click advertising. Contact us today!