What is Panda update and why should you worry about it? Just check out the following articles and you would know:
High-quality sites algorithm goes global, incorporates user feedback
Is it Time to Diversify Your SEO?
Think you’re affected by the recent algorithm change? Post here
Did my niche sites survive the Panda?
Backlinking Post Panda – My Results
Google Panda update survival guide
I guess I am pretty late at posting this (but not too late to bore you once again)!
I believe there has been more than one panda update, but anyway, the focus of this article is not any particular update of the Google algo; let us be honest, there can be a 100 panda updates and we can never know for sure what really changed because Google™ keeps its algo a TOP secret (probably even the spouses of the Google’s employees don’t know about it :P )! However, the basics rules of SEO will not change, so that is what the article would focus on! ;)
Remember though that while building backlinks is extremely important, they alone cannot help your site rank in Google™. If your site has tons of backlinks, but near-to-zero content, you won’t get the top rankings (as the recent panda update has proved). It is well known that Google takes a lot of factors into consideration when ranking a site or page for a specific term:
1. Backlinks (it is a given, right? :P )
2. Age of the domain
3. Content – preferably original, relevant and useful content, if you wish to get repeat visitors
As far as content is concerned, what especially matters (apart from originality) is the keyword density (or keyword richness, whatever you want to call it). For example, if your site is a new one and you are trying to rank high for a competitive keyword like weight loss then your site’s keyword density for the keyword ‘weight loss’ should be ideally more or less be equal to that of your competitors who are ranking on the first page of Google for the same term.
For example, if the sites on the first page of Google has 42 instances of the keyword weight loss on an average, then your site should also contain the same number of instances of the keyword (well, more or less anyway).
‘Tool tool, I need TOOL!’
Of course, there is a tool for every purpose; in this case you can use the keyword density checker tool.
Do you need a keyword tool too? I think you do, so here are some you can check out:
a) The good old Google Keyword Tool is great is you have an existing Adwords™ account, otherwise it has become pretty useless. If you don’t have an Adwords account, then try out these tools instead:
b) Seobook Keyword tool (requires an optin)
It might sound intimidating at first but the fact remains, if you already have a good idea about the subject you want to write on, you won’t need to do all that math; ‘keyword density’ would come naturally! You may or may not believe it, but I have been writing this blog since 2005 and never for once I thought about writing an article on a keyword/bunch of keywords; I always think of a topic to write on; keywords flow in naturally! If you use a software to artificially increase the keyword density of your article then trust me, it would show badly; same goes for LSI! ;)
When you wrote essays in school, did you think about just putting a bunch of related/non-related keywords into your essay’s content just to please your teacher? Or did you think about writing a good essay? Of course, back then you did not have to worry about search engine rankings or making money, but my point is that, the same principle of ‘essay writing’ should be applied to web writing – just worry about writing relevant content, and everything else will fall in place!
If you cannot write content that is relevant for your visitors, then no amount of ‘keyword spamming’ will help you that much! Even if keyword spamming helps you rank high in Google, it is NOT Google but the visitors who land on your site through it that would make you money, right? So writing content for visitors is as much important as writing for search engines (well in fact, if you take care of the first the second one is usually taken care of automatically)!
What I am saying here is more or less cookie-cutter stuff: that keyword density helps a site get decent rankings in search engines is something known by SEO gurus since years. That is why webmasters once came up with the idea of ‘keyword spamming’ their pages, thinking that would help them outrank their competitors!
Softwares came up to appease the demands of those webmasters; there were (probably still are) softwares that would generate tons of pages for you around a single or a bundle of keywords! This trick worked for a while until Google booted out the spammers (as did Ezinearticles soon after). While there are still plenty of them who rank in Google in spite of having little-to-no content (in fact a lot of them rank by virtue of their respective ‘domain authority’), there might come a time when they too would get the boot!
In any case, you have no control over "domain authority" – it is something that increases as your domain ages. So you should focus on the two things you have control over: content and backlinks!
Another thing that webmasters, especially WordPress users, do, is to add a bunch of tags – usually 50 to 100- at the end of every post they make, in the hope that it would help them rank high in search engines. So, every post on internet marketing is followed by this:
Internet Marketing Adsense PPC SEO Google Adwords Adsense Pay Per Click Search Engines Blogging Marketing List Building Clickbank
and so on, REGARDLESS OF whether there is any relation between those tags and the content of the post! It is not something that you will find in just internet marketing blogs, but also on niche blogs (because a lot of internet marketers double up as niche marketers :P ). I don’t know about you, but I find so many tags at the end of a post rather nauseating. Some webmasters even add "nofollow" to those tags.
I really have no idea if Google takes these tags into consideration while measuring the keyword density of a page. Personally I use tags in more creative ways. You can read more about that here! :D
So start adding content and backlinks: lots and lots of them. The more competitive your niche is, the harder you have to work (i.e., the more content and backlinks you have to add). An exception to this rule is, if you are trying to get ranked only for a sub-niche of the broad niche, and only for long-tail keywords, then you may not have to work so hard, well not until you have got quite a substantial amount of people, all trying to get ranked for the same term! :D
Sorry guys and gals, there is no shortcut in SEO. I wish I knew one but…anyone who aims to rank decently in Google has to work hard, pretty hard actually. Of course if you have money you can outsource all the ‘hard’ work, but then again, if you have got money (especially money to burn) you can try the PPC route too! :D
Post panda-update, people started making a lot of speculations, one of them being that ‘autoblogs no longer work’, or ‘autoblogs are out’. I have an autoblog so I could not disagree more. Of course I did not argue with them because the rule of the world is that, if you argue over matters concerning religion, politics, movies or SEO, you are lucky if you ever manage to come out of the argument- unscathed! So, my motto is ‘Let sleeping dogs lie‘. :D
It does not really matter if you have an autoblog or a manual blog, the same rule of ‘keyword density’, backlinking, and ‘domain authority’ applies to any and all kinds of sites. Sure it is harder to get a decent rank for your autoblog within the first few months but eventually, if you do it right and keep the momentum you will get some good rankings in Google even for an autoblog!
BTW, one thing I am experiencing post-panda update is that review sites are converting even better than before!
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Okay, so I am a lazy chap and would rather build sites using plr articles (without even rewriting them at all), and scrapped content from Yahoo™ answers, than sweat it out trying to write original content. Can I still rank In Google?
Of course you can, but whether or not you will get ranked on the first page of the search results, I cannot say! :P You can build sites with plr content even if you have not rewritten it (provided the plr provider allows that); you can also scrap content from Yahoo answers and build sites off that; I have done it! The same principle that applies to autoblogs applies to these kinds of sites too: you just have to add a lot of such content on your site to get any decent rankings! However, getting ranked in Google won’t automatically help you make money, like I already pointed out!
If you don’t mind a low Alexa™ rank (that is, low traffic count) and a high bounce rate (a lot of SEO gurus believe that a high bounce rate could negatively impact your site’s ranking in Google, but I have no hands-on proof on this) then you can build several such sites. In my opinion these sites are best monetized with something like Google Adsense!™
2. I am very bored after reading this article. Can I take a nap?
See below! ;)
Who does not want to get some good sleep after a hard day’s work! Even if you learned absolutely nothing new in this article, I am sure this boring article helped you sleep well. ;) I only request that when you do wake up, please post a nice comment okay? Bye! :)
Sidenote: One of the keywords I have trouble ranking for is ‘boring’; I suppose I don’t have ‘enough’ instances of the word in my blog, yet! :P
If you liked this article, please feel free to post a nice comment, retweet it, like it on Facebook and link to it from your website, thanks. :D