Google Panda penalty is the worst gift from the almighty G.  Google-Panda-Update June 8

On June 8, 2012, another weird Panda went out to penalize websites that didn’t meet up to Google’s expectations.

And this kept me wondering, what is the next exit, since Google is the best traffic source ever. At least for now…

Reading piles of articles just to get your websites/blog’s search engine placement back won’t help.

I want to show you the 10 smart ways to quickly fix it.

1.     Update blog with fresh content

What exactly does Google Panda want? It’s obvious; they want fresh and quality content. The rule hasn’t changed and if you concentrate on serving your readers with fresh content which engages them, you’ll trigger the Panda to fall in love with your blog.

Research the topic before writing. When you’re done, edit, proofread and rewrite the headline if it’s not attractive. Press the publish button – don’t wait until tomorrow.

2.     Capture readers’ attention

Have you ever read a blog post that didn’t hook you at all? You need a hook to catch readers’ attention.

These people have low attention span. If you don’t capture and quietly convince them to learn more, your bounce rate will be high. Google Panda hate websites that have lost their hook.

The headline is the most important section to capture interest. Spend at least 15 minutes crafting a catchy headline. Or have a professional rewrite headlines for you.

3.     Keep your article short and usable

I’ve always been a strong advocate of lengthy articles. Of course, there is a place for 2000+ words article. In fact, most of my blog posts which have performed well were over 1000+ counts.

Surprisingly, more people are looking for quick ways to get results. Isn’t that the reason for washing machines, vehicles and so on?

You’re not writing a novel – keep the blog post below 1000 words count but make sure it’s usable, helpful and easy to read. Lengthy article may be your favorite, but does it satisfy your readers?

4.     Build links gradually

Link velocity tracks how fast or slow you build your links. See, there is no negative effect in building links slowly. But when you get links at the speed of light without considering the quality and the relevancy of such links, it can mar your ranking.

Always build links gradually to your blog pages. Take it easy. You can no longer be tossed to and fro by every SEO doctrine. Fortunately, you could rank a specific webpage highly on Google without generating thousands of links to it. “Slow and steady wins the race!”

5.     Fix your 404 error page

Yes, you know what I’m talking about. If a reader or client mistakenly types a wrong blog page URL, he’s going to land on a 404 error page. Search engine spider and Panda hates broken links. The Penguin hates it also.

However, you can change how Google treat this page by redirecting broken links to your inner pages. There are good wordpress plugins you can use to display random post in 404 error pages. Fix the error, fix your ranking quickly.

6.     Encourage visitors to visit often

blog readers

In your Google analytics dashboard, what is the level of returning visitors? It’s very important in today’s search engine optimization. Returning visitors are more important than new ones.

Do you realize that when someone visits your blog for the first time and comes back every now and then, that the content is unique and helpful? Sure, it is. Apart from quality content, set up subscription forms on your website and blog to capture reader’s email address.

This way, you can keep in touch with fresh content and bring them back the second, third, fourth and maybe forever.

7.     Lower your bounce rate

Bounce rate measures the activities of the reader in your blog. That is, what particular post did they read when they landed on your homepage. If people can spend more quality time in your blog, this is really good in Google’s eye.

The last time I checked my bounce rate using Google analytics, it was 56%. At the basic level, this is encouraging but I still have a lot of work to do to lower the percentage.

The lower the bounce rates the better for your blog. If your bounce rates fall within 50 – 100%, you’d better start writing engaging content that can help readers in a very special way. Recommend relevant posts and encourage comments.

8.     Create a sitemap for your blog

A sitemap is a guide for search engine spiders. Google wasn’t there when you created your blog and website. How would they know the number of pages to crawl and index?

Show Google the number of pages your blog has. Adjust your settings to allow spiders crawl for new pages. The new pages will be added to the generated sitemap automatically.

Sitemap helps a search spider to navigate your blog/website smoothly. If you’re yet to create a sitemap, get started here.

9.     Use keywords, but don’t stuff

Just like sitemaps, keywords are important in search engine optimization. They reveal what your target audience has in mind. Those terms you researched through Google keywords tool are not scraped words, they’re THOUGHT-WORDS!

Google still encourages keyword placement, but the style is different now. Only use key terms that are meaningful. Place relevant wants naturally especially in the headline and at the beginning of your blog posts/content.

10.     Above the fold linking

Do you still remember above the fold rule? Google AdSense used the rule for her publishers. When you first visit a website, the first section you see before scrolling down is called “above the fold.”

That section is very important that Google had to enact a policy on it. Now, you can use it more profitably.

When building links to your blog pages, try and link from above the fold. In order words, interlink new posts and pages. Don’t allow readers to scroll before they find the link.

Google panda takeaway

Offer great value in your blog. The quality and rich content could help you stay on the winning side when the next update strikes.

Don’t put on the blackhat SEO no matter the grandeur you see. It pays to build a profitable system, rather than exploiting SEO loopholes to drive organic traffic.

Did the recent Google Panda update affect your blog? Could you share you experience by leaving a comment below – thank you!

Photo Credit: bloggingaster | flickr: mattstabile