As most of you know already, Google made an adjustment to its algorithm in the middle of October and the result was thousands of websites seeing a reduction in traffic due to a reduction in ranking. With a little less than a month’s worth of experience with this new system, I’d like to share with you what my strategy is for dealing with it for both my own sites and the sites of my students.

My first piece of advice is to take a deep breath and relax. Don’t panic. That’s probably a lot easier for me to say than those of you who have only been in the business a couple of years. Since 1999 I’ve seen a dozen changes in algorithms and survived them all and this one is really not that drastic.

Google Panda Update Recovery Tips

Take a Detailed Look at Your Pages

Your first move should be to identify just where you took a hit in traffic. What that means is going through your analytics and charting out the traffic for every page you have. My guess is you’ll find that there are only a few pages that had a significant reduction in traffic and ranking and you may even have a page or two that saw an increase.

Remember, Google is ranking pages not websites so understanding which pages were affected is crucial to making corrections.

Ideally you should identify the keyword phrase for each page and then do a Google search for that phrase. That will tell you where you are ranked today and give you an idea if the page is salvageable or if you should delete it. I’ll talk about deleting poor performing pages in a bit.

Now that you have a “damage report” you can start working on making repairs and restoring your position in the SERP after Google Panda update.

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The Fundamentals Of SEO

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How to Recover from Google Panda Update

The first thing to remember is that this adjustment can be corrected. What I’m offering are five critical areas that I believe you should put the bulk of your effort into to get the fastest results.

1. Duplicate Anchor Text

Without question this area caused the biggest loss in ranking. If the links pointing back to your page are identical, Google is seeing them as not being natural. Googles’s greatest challenge is to filter out spam and one of the ways it accomplishes this is by identifying “unnatural patterns.”

Think about it. If you have 50 backlinks coming from sites and the anchor text that you used was say "free premium WordPress theme", Google sees that as 50 different webmasters using the exact same phrase to link to your site and the odds of that happening naturally are slim to none.

So how do you fix this? For all posts you make going forward make sure you mix it up with the phrase. Add words, delete words, use plurals or use relevant alternative phrases (easy to find in Google’s keyword tool). The more “mixed” anchor texts you add the more diluted the duplicate links become.

Then there’s the option to go back to the webmasters whose sites are pointing at your page and ask to change the anchor text.

And don’t forget the anchor text in your bio if applicable. I do a lot of guest blogging and I had been using the same anchor in my bio and was watching my site go steadily up the ranking. After the adjustment it took a relative nose dive. I’ve now made arrangements to use different anchor texts in my bio.

Google Panda Update Recovery Tips

2. Take A Hard Look at the Quality of Your Content

This adjustment did nothing to alter Google’s emphasis on quality content. Look at your poor performing pages and ask yourself does the content really have any value to the visitor? Does it provide information or just fluff. Is it really optimized? Are you using the page title, meta tag and h tags correctly?

If the answer is no you have two options. Rewrite the page and do the optimization or just delete it from the site. A poorly performing page reflects poorly on the domain.

If you do decide to delete the page and replace it, make a copy so you can always go back and use it as a reference point.

Also Read :

Google's War On Spam Content (Infographic)

How to Write SEO Content to Increase Your Search Engine Ranking

3. Where Are Your Links Coming From?

This one is a bit more difficult to fix. If you’re backlinks are all coming from quality sites then you’re ok. But if you have links from content farms like those normally associated with article marketing, the only solution is to start building quality links now to dilute the less than quality links you have now.

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4. Fresh Content is Appreciated and Rewarded

Google has a bottomless appetite for fresh content. Does this mean that you have to add new content daily, or weekly or even monthly? Well the answer is no you don’t but if you have a site you haven’t refreshed in 6 months or so it is an excellent idea to do so.

Many affiliate marketers have blogs but others have “regular” websites that aren’t necessarily receptive to “new content.” Don’t add pages just for the sake of adding content but you can refresh those pages you already have.

Also Read : 5 Quick Ways To Get Blogging Ideas Daily

5. Where Does Social Media Fit Into This?

I’ve received a lot of questions about the wisdom of adding Google +1, Twitter and Facebook like buttons on sites. Do I think this will help your rankings? Honestly I don’t think it will…now. But at some point it almost has to. Matt Cutts of Google once said “Don’t try to figure out where Google is, try to figure out where it’s going.”

There’s no question that Google’s investment in social media is going to play a role in ranking at some point. But if you go this route, know you have to actively participate to get the benefit.

Also Read :

How Social Media Sites are Affecting SEO Ranking

Which Social Media Site is the Best for SEO (Infographic)

How To Improve Website SEO Ranking with Social Media Links

It really doesn’t matter what kind of site you have be it WordPress Genesis theme or something as unique as welding services, this adjustment will affect you. Follow the tips listed above and you’ll have an excellent opportunity to restore your ranking.

Or, if you’re just getting started, the advice will prevent you from having to go through the temporary turmoil that established sites are experiencing now. If you have questions or ideas please share them in the comment box below.