Panda Update 2.2 Changes SEO Strategies

June 27, 2011

Google announced last week that it has released its latest search engine update called Panda 2.2. Google’s newest update has yet again hit websites hard causing certain websites to upgrade in rankings while others suffered from being downgraded in rankings. So why are certain websites being benefitted from these updates while others are being so hard hit? The answer lies in your approach to SEO. Those who benefited from the Panda 2.2 update had better optimized content, linking and onsite optimization. To benefit from this update, your company now needs to approach each of these key pillars of SEO with a more strategic, rigorous and proactive strategy.

Before Panda, the way most companies approached SEO was to build good content, do good keyword research, have a strong linking structure, and to make their websites accessible to search engines. Now, you are no longer only optimizing for search engine algorithms and metrics used by crawlers to determine the relevance and quality of your company’s website. Now, you are also optimizing your website for web users. Google’s algorithms are still important but now more highly ranked are what these users think of your website.

What this means is that you must make your viewers fall in love with your website. If you can get these viewers to love your site and trust your company enough to share it with their family and friends, then you will see higher search engine rankings.
This goes hand in hand with the skyrocketed importance of social media and social media integration. This is because everything your company does on the Internet can impact your search engine rankings. Because of this, you need to implement a new, broader SEO strategy.

It is important to understand that the design of your website and user experience go hand in hand. Your site should have an appealing design and layout for your users. This is especially important for every page of your website as they should be equal in terms of content, design and overall quality. As known from previous SEO strategies, good, quality content is essential for your website. But now, just having unique, useful and well-written content is not enough. Your content also needs to be humorous and engaging. There should be photos and videos used to better design your website for your viewers. This is because your main goal is to generate more links through web users sharing your content on social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook.
The main metrics your company should be optimizing for are: time on site, bounce rate, browse rate, CTR from SERPs, and the diversity of branded search and direct traffic. What this means is that you need to make sure people are clicking on your link from the search engines. Once they do and land on your website, these web users need to spend time browsing on your site and clicking through your pages. The more diverse the web traffic that comes through your site, the better optimized your website is.

Essentially, this Panda update and other future updates are trying to make web users more satisfied with their search engine results by showing the highest quality and most relevant websites. Your goal is to make sure that your website is one of these high quality and relevant websites. By optimizing for these new metrics and focusing your SEO strategy on increasing the satisfaction of your web user, you can greatly benefit from the Panda update and any future, possibly more aggressive, updates from Google.

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