It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since Google released Panda 1.0. Especially because in that year, we haven’t seen a whole lot of innovation or progress on the SEO side of things. Meanwhile, Google is making huge changes that threaten to leave all but the most resilient SEOs in the dust.
Here at SEOSiteCheckUp.com, we’ve been talking about the “New SEO” a lot lately – a framework that focuses mainly on the user experience and quality content.
Google continues to move in the direction they set out in with Panda. As such, “New SEO” principles will become even more relevant.
If you’re confused about what the “New SEO” is, go ahead and scroll to the bottom of this page and fill out the form – we’ll send you a free course explaining everything you need to know.
In today’s article, we’re going to go over a rundown on changes we’ve seen websites make to improve their rankings in the post-Panda world. No, it’s not building backlinks. And no, it’s not about targeting ultra-niche keywords with SEO content.
All of the factors we’ll discuss today have one thing in common: they dramatically increase the user experience.
Before Panda, it wasn’t uncommon (at all) to see websites crammed with ads. Ads above the fold, in the content, on the sidebars… sometimes it was hard to see the actual content of a website, due to the massive quantity of advertisements.
You probably don’t see too many of those websites showing up on Google page #1 anymore. That’s because Panda checks to see how many advertisements you have based on the amount of content you have.
And if you have more ads than content, guess what? You won’t rank well!
It’s no secret – people visiting your website hate advertisements. If you’ve built a tribe and amassed a loyal following, they may be more tolerant to your displaying of ads. However, if you constantly push ads down your visitor’s throats, the user experience will suffer and so will your rankings.
Google has a few ways to determine the user experience of your website. They can look at bounce rates, average time on site, the average number of pages visited, etc. But now, thanks to the explosion of social media, they have an even better way of determining how much value your website provides: social votes.
“Likes,” “Tweets,” “Shares,” and “+1’s.”
When someone gains value from a page, they’re probably willing to take one second to click a social media vote button. Especially because most websites give users the option to post on their social profiles or not.
In other words, someone can “like” your article without it reflecting on their Facebook wall.
So now users are getting in the habit of giving content they like social votes. And if they like more than the content, if they like the entire business, they can head over to Facebook and “like” the fan page.
For Google, this gives incredible insights into how valuable a website is. And for website owners, it highlights what you’re doing good and what you need to work on.
Social plays a HUGE role in the “New SEO.” If you haven’t jumped on board the social train, please, please do so immediately.
In past updates, websites that have been affected have been able to do “SEO recovery.” By building more reputable backlinks and writing content that isn’t “keyword soup,” they’ve—in some cases—be able to regain their traffic.
Not so after Panda. In order to recover from a Panda hit, a complete re-haul is often necessary. This involves taking off advertisements, writing longer content (and deleting “thin” pages), and, in some cases, completely redesigning the way your website looks and interacts with the user.
Since Panda, many websites have completely redone their user experiences. You’ve probably seen the results – clean, minimalist web designs coupled with very easy-to-find/read content. Expect this trend to continue.
Although Google may have released Panda to make their business better, in doing so, they’ve forced thousands of online businesses to improve as well.
If you want a piece of Google, you’ve got to be quality. And if you want a piece of page #1, you need to be the best of the best – no exceptions.
Here at SEOSiteCheckUp.com, we’ve always advocated a fantastic user experience. And now that Panda’s done some serious damage to the foundation SEO’s have been using for years, we expect others to begin advocating the “New SEO” as well.
If you’d like to get info on all the latest Google changes and what you can do to get on page #1, go ahead and fill out the form below. If you prefer social media, that’s fine – give our Facebook page a “like!”