In my last article, I started discussing Google’s Panda. That evaluation wasn’t just about the surface level of the update, but the core intent that Google was upholding. The conclusions of that article lead to some simple, common sense fundamentals on search engine optimization tactics.
How Should You Respond to Panda?
Rather than trying to figure out the finer points of Panda’s search engine earthquake, focus on the root point: Google wants to rank sites that users love, so you should make your site one that users love. There’s no single way to do this, but there are a a few basic pieces of common sense advice to cling to:
- Look at your site right now and see what’s performing poorly. Fix those pages.
- Don’t just bring in duplicate content from other sites (that’s cheating).
- Make sure you polish your content. Don’t know your spelling? Bookmark an online dictionary and use spell-check. Don’t know your punctuation? Go read Eats, Shoot & Leaves. And, above all, edit and re-edit the content your write before you publish.
- Don’t waste space. One of the big markers of spam is that the content doesn’t actually say much. Avoid redundant sentences, use concise language, and don’t be afraid of trimming the fat.
- Don’t over-advertise. Why would users want advertisements interfering with their reading experience? They wouldn’t, so don’t force-feed it to them.
- Focus on value. If you provide something of authentic use to visitors, you’ll win their trust, repeat visits, inbound links, time on site, and much more.
- Have a voice. Users like to feel like they’re reading content written by a person – a smart person who is fluent in the language the content was written in – and not a robot.
In the end, what Google wants is to promote sites that users respond positively to. It’s simple logic: if users find the best, most useful results on the top pages of Google, they’ll keep using Google. The only real way to win, in the long run, is to provide the highest possible quality for the visitors to your site.