Important SEO Habits to Adopt for Post Panda-Penguin Era Survival

SMS Text

In a constantly changing SEO landscape, it is important to remain up-to-date with the changing practices and strategies of optimization. Every year, search engines like Google introduce new updates in the SERPs, thereby widely affecting the rankings of the various websites.

Last year, Google launched the Knowledge Graph aimed at helping users find relevant information easily and fast. This search model is referred to as an “intelligent” way to find the right results for queries with different meanings. It is also an attempt by Google to help users better understand a topic by summarizing important facts and relevant content about the search query.

For instance, if you typed the word “rio” in Google search bar, you will be given these different types of suggestions to help you find the correct result to your query.

image001Moreover, the Knowledge Graph also provides a broader and deeper understanding of a given topic. Today, SERPs are not only about the listing of the high-ranking websites in a row. Google results are now more about providing relevant information on the search query. For instance, if you look for the movie “Up” in Google, you will be presented with an in-depth database about the movie.


In addition to the SERP updates, the recent algorithm changes have also altered the process of optimization forever. No longer an SEO campaign is about adding a few keywords and establishing thousands of links with link-farms. Today, it is ablout developing a 360-degree approach to a campaign.

It is vital for businesses and site owners to understand that for SEO success, one should focus more on developing a relevant site with authority. It is true that good SEO can improve the readability and usability of a site but if you fall prey to “black-hat” SEO tactics, the effects can be detrimental.

Hence, to survive in this post-Panda and Penguin era, it is mandatory for search engine optimizers to stick to these golden guidelines:

Think Originality and Relevance

Although it has been mentioned again and again, but SEO success is indeed possible only with original and relevant content. Think about how you can add freshness to your content that differs from other sites. Always keep in mind that your content should be aimed at providing useful information to targeted users and not for search engines.

Hence, avoid any form of black-hat practices like keyword stuffing or cloaking. Instead of opting for any webspam tactics, try to keep users engaged by regularly updating the content on your site by means of blog posts and articles.

Add Authenticity

While purchasing any kind of products or services in the offline world, we all look for product authenticity. It has become an important factor and decision making criterion that guides consumer’s buying habits. The same can be said for website optimization today, where more and more people are looking for sites with some degree of  authority. The more authentic a website looks, the more trust users develop for its products or services.

A great way to achieve this is by using the Google Authorship markup rel= “author” and linking it to the Google+ profile of the author of the content piece. A site’s authority can also be enhanced by getting credible links from other relevant websites, so ensure that your content is engaging and interesting to readers.

However, for obtaining the inbound links, avoid any form of manipulative tactics that Google or any other search engine advises against. Similar other authority-development strategies includes social media submissions like Facebook, Quora, Digg, or StumbleUpon.

Develop Clean Website Structure

Ensure that you have a simple site structure that is accessible by Googlebot and other such crawling robots. There should also be adequate internal linking between your pages for easy navigation of relevant information. You would also want to ensure that your site has clear URL structures without unnecessary parameters leading to distinct content pages. This will help crawlers to spend more time in crawling content rather than tracing and retracing their steps.

Promote Locally

If your business has a local presence like a retail store or pharmacy, you should opt for local SEO so that people in that particular area know more about your services. A good way to start is by establishing a local profile on Google through Google Places for Business.

To improve your local rankings, have lots of quality reviews about your business on your Google Places page. Following this, make use of data distribution services like Yext and Citation Burst for widespread distribution of your Google Places page information.


If you want to survive in post Panda-Penguin era, develop a fool-proof plan utilizing the above mentioned guidelines and steer clear of any low-value SEO tactics. Although these age-old techniques look cheap and have worked in the past, don’t make the mistake of adopting them now. Always remember that the basic mantra today is authority, relevancy, and originality.

Don Pathak
Don Pathak is the Director, SEO and Content Development at Speed Coverage, a leading independent Digital Marketing and SEO Agency. As an online marketing strategist,... Read Full Bio
Don Pathak

Latest posts by Don Pathak (see all)

Subscribe to SEJ!
Get our weekly newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!
  • Susan Silver

    I actually went through the pains of completely reinstalling my WordPress over the weekend. Years of bad coding and adding plug-ins had made it a mess. Turned it responsive, followed best practices for speeding it up, and made it HTML 5 compliant. Google seems to like it better and is crawling content super fast.

    I have to say the clean up was worth it.

    There is a large percentage of SEO that relies on the code structure underneath your website . I hope people are also writing and/or sharing interesting things too!

  • James

    Nice and clean explanation. I think that if you want to save your website from Google panda update then we should have unique content on each page of our website and design should be good and navigation must be easy. And if you want to save your website from penguin hit then just concentrate on variation in anchor text and try to build back links from authority websites. πŸ™‚
    Yes, Promotion of website on locally plays an important role as you will get recommendation from other people and you can have some good reviews. Excellent post as a whole. πŸ™‚
    Thank you

  • Cameron Whitaker

    Some great points covered Don. Effective on page optimisation is definitely much more valuable than it used to be. This relates to eliminating duplicate content, setting up an effective site architecture and navigation to improve your site’s usability and improve user engagement.

    • Sahil

      Absolutely Cameron. Good on-site involving optimal site-wide keyword optimization does impact a lot than when compared to its impact in pre-panda and penguin era. As Don mentioned Its not only links, local Citations or brand mentions also matters a lot Post Panda. Also every link built must pass the RAID (Relevance, Authority, Influence and Diversity) test to avoid search engine algorithm or manual penalties.

  • Mitch Ballard

    Excellent post as usual, Love to read Searchenginejournal blog and this time you have provided some fodder for some serious thinking about SEO success. Do proper On page optimization, don’t neglect it and spare some serious time behind On Page and forget about building thousands of waste backlinks.

  • Pirvu

    “SEO success is indeed possible only with original and relevant content”. You are so right about that – it’s the only way to survive any search engine algorithm update. It is true that we also need to add patience to the mix, but this approach will help any business thrive, making it less and less reliant on search engine traffic on the long term.

  • Tina

    Thanks for great post. I think people forget about the website structure. Nothing frustrates me more than coming to a website and not finding what I need. A website should be easy to navigate.

  • Rudy

    These are all really great pointers. The one section that has been popular of recent is adding Google snippets. You mentioned the rel=author tag but I would also like to mention the other snippets such as reviews, events, and recipes. Of course not all of these can be used with all websites but webmasters should take advantage of anything that will help make them stand out from search results.

  • Kriss

    So I started a website end of February, had about 50 articles that were indexed right away on Google. Looked at analytics, got some traffic via search keywords, so I checked to see what is the position of my website at that point, and it was on the first page of the results.

    Recently Google did an update to their Panda algorithm (around March 15th) and now if I search for the exact same keyword, my website is on second or third page!

    So not sure why it got pushed back, because the content is 100% unique, I add new articles on daily basis that are relevant to my site, the design of the website is clean and intuitive to the user, all is authentic and based on your guidelines πŸ™‚ Hard to figure it out with google..