Many websites have seen a huge change in their rankings and traffic levels in the weeks and months post panda, and many us have adapted quickly to the new rules of the SERPs and have recovered (and even improved) their rankings.
Once upon a time, SEO was a very different kettle of fish. Back in the day it was considered (by some) to be acceptable to throw together a quick crappy article on “How to get cheap garden furniture” and send it off to a load of article directories for a few quick links. It was deemed okay to submit your website to 1000+ general directories with perfect anchor text, hell, there was even software for it (and still is). But now with Google’s multiple updates, the search giant has quite rightly seen the error of their ways and finally woke up to the fact that this kind of absolute stool was not remotely helpful to users, and have now adjusted the algorithm accordingly.
The SEO landscape has changed and the big G has been banging on about high-quality relevant content ever since. So with article directories, content farms and link wheels being discounted left, right and centre, it would be mad to continue with plugging away at the old well long after the water had dried up.
The panda update has been received with mixed feelings. For many SEO consultants it has been a blessing in seeing the error of their ways and with everybody in the same boat, allowed new, old and superstar Search Marketers to come together and discuss their ideas for the winding path ahead. For others though, it stung…it fact it hurt really bad.
Now with Panda rolled out worldwide, this leaves Google’s next step purely speculation, but you can bet your ass that it’s going to be social. It’s going to be relevancy of links. And you can count on the next major update to stomp on any remaining “content for contents sake” pages and domains that made it through.
So how should I do SEO in the post-panda environment?
Move away from crappy devalued directories and articles. You have to intensify your link building efforts in other areas. Guest blogging is one area which immediately springs to mind, and one that is not as hard as you think. Build yourself a strong blogger outreach plan, find yourself a relevant blog and begin interacting. Leave a few worthwhile comments on their blog. Use twitter and other social media to connect to them and offer your amazing guest post idea. There are even guest blog communities that can help in finding opportunities.
Now this is by no means an easy feat, and it won’t happen overnight (and if it does you may want to check the profile of the website before submitting to check it’s the real deal), but with some decent pieces of content that bloggers will actually want to feature you can gain some really good links from high-authority blogs which have a great readership.
Pimp Your Content
Crap content just won’t cut it anymore. You really need to be spending your time creating some epic content that your users will not only want to see but link to as a great resource. What’s more, you’ll need to take a long hard look through your old posts and pages to clear any junk you’ve got lying around. You will need to learn how to judge the quality of content and remove any low quality or thin content that fails to impress.
Don’t Over Do Your SEO
It’s not an unreasonable assumption that if all your links were followed you should rank well. But this tends not to be the case. Why I hear you ask?
Two words: Domain Diversity.
Web sites that rank well will have a lot of links and will have a wide range too, be them followed or no-followed, redirected or seriously optimised anchor links from some cool sources to create their a diverse overall link profile, and that’s what you’re going to have to do.
At the end of the day, be it followed or not, if you feel that the page is of adequate quality and is relevant to your website, then why the hell not get a link from them. We’ve all seen the back link profile of an SEO’d web site that are working too hard on SEO to build perfect anchor text do-followed links. What Google is looking for is a natural profile and you’re not going to be able to create that without making a conscious effort to think natural.
And last but by no means least:
Read more stuff
There are some pretty epic SEO communities, there are great SEO twitterholics and there are shiploads of useful SEO blogs out there that can help keep you up to date with the latest in the SEO world. As a blogger I’ll try and broadcast everything I learn, hear or think about an idea but you’ll need to be reading much more than pre-panda days…especially in the short-term if you want to keep up.