How to Recover from a Google Panda Penalty

Panda Penalty

Pandas are cute but Panda penalties are not!

For all you wondering what a Panda penalty is, here is what it means:

Let’s first define Panda (not the animal, of course). A Panda is a Google algorithm update that came out in 2014. The main aim of this update was (and still is) to drop the rankings of websites with poor quality content. The drop in the ranking of a website as a result of content that lacks quality is a panda penalty to that website. For instance, Frontier has a Frontier Deals page on its website which has thin content and is a duplicate of another cable provider’s page. Frontier’s ranking on the search result page will drop by a couple of places. In other words, the company will receive a Panda Penalty.

Here’s what Frontier or any other website can do to recover from the Google Panda Penalty:

High-Quality Content

One of the major and perhaps the only reason that your website went down a couple of places was the poor quality of the content. Time and again you would have come across this advice. But this is just how important content is to your ranking. A quality content implies that it is:

  • Unique
  • Includes targeted keywords
  • Should not go overboard with the SEO optimization

Even Google smells even a few poor-quality articles on your website, your whole domain will be penalized. This is how serious an offense Google takes a poorly written article as after the Panda update. Your first focus when aiming towards the recovery of your website should be on thin content. A thin content refers to the pages that contain content that is no longer than 150 words and are dominated by images. The best practice on your part would be either to get rid of these pages by deleting them or updating them by adding more information to them.

The length of the article also plays a key role in this scenario. A longer article means it is a detailed blog covering all the information. It also means that you will be able to cover more keywords. Hence, Google ranks longer articles better than the shorter ones. But that does not imply that you start adding fillers just to increase the length of the article. Remember that quality and length go hand in hand.

Duplicate Content

If there is anything that Google loathes after poor quality content, it’s duplicate content. For this purpose, you not only have to work on the content aspect of your website (which should be unique) but also cater to the SEO side. If theirs is a lot of plagiarized content, your website’s ranking will suffer for sure. You should also remember that the algorithm lacks the sense to distinguish an original content from a copied one. Hence, you will have to manually work on it and fight against any plagiarism that exists. It may happen that some other website (s) is copying the content from your website. Therefore, it is necessary that you canonicalize. Canonical refers to a tag that you add in the header of your website’s HTML. It distinguishes a duplicate website from an original one. Therefore, if you come across a duplicate content, report it to the Google team and they will take action accordingly.

Up Your SEO Game

If you are an aspiring professional blogger or are running a blog already, you should DEFINITELY learn SEO. Writing content for your website is just one from the pool of things that make a successful blog or website. If you are unaware of the following:

  • Keyword optimization
  • Keyword research
  • Social media promotion
  • Tricks to build backlinks

There is no use of you staying on the web. Because you do not know the tricks of the trade. Your website won’t rank well from day one and your blog or business will eventually shut down. Hence, educate yourself in SEO first and then start off your blog/website.

WordPress Theme

Even the WordPress themes matter in the ranking of your website. If your theme fails to be SEO friendly, the rankings will drop automatically. The WordPress themes are available in the following categories:

  • Free
  • Premium

Although, the free themes have plenty to offer, try out the premium ones to make them more SEO friendly. The website should come across as one that users find easy to navigate through. The heading tags, contrasting colors and even the available white space on a page decide the clarity of the design. The users should not, even for a second, get lost on your website/blog. An annoyed user is a user lost!

An example of a website with a very user-friendly outlook is Frontier’s website. Visiting their individual pages e.g. Frontier Internet is not difficult. It is easy to navigate from one page to another. Another such example is amazon’s website. That is one e-commerce website that makes shopping online a very convenient (read: frustration free) experience.

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