5 Important Steps to Avoid Future Google Panda Penalties

Adrianna Mieras

Senior SEO Strategist

By now you should be aware that Google algorithms aren’t going away anytime soon. Just because you escape one update unscathed doesn’t mean that you’ll be so lucky the next time. And, if you’ve ever been impacted by Google Panda, you know how much time it takes to pick yourself back up, dust your knees off and get traffic going again.

The best thing you can do is safeguard yourself from future Panda penalties rather than waiting around or assuming that you’re okay. Below are five important steps to keep in mind going forward. Stash them in your back pocket or post them on your bulletin board. Whatever the case, you’ll need them until Panda is no longer around. Whenever that may be.

1. Analyze top landing pages

Google pulls user engagement data from the top landing pages that lead to your site. When you’re hit by a Panda update, check out these landing pages and identify potential problems. These are the top pages that your users are visiting, and the last thing you want is thin content, broken pages, ad issues and so forth. We recommend using Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools to compare the post-recovery time frame to the previous time frame to gauge the change in traffic for each URL.

2. Compare mobile and desktop traffic

Mobile is huge, yet webmasters tend to forget about it when it comes to traffic issues. But, it’s possible that mobile traffic could be impacting your Panda situation. If a fraction of your traffic is coming from mobile (some brands see up to 50%!), you’ll definitely notice a change in traffic after a Panda update if you’re not resonating with this audience. The first step is determining how much traffic is coming from mobile sources and then analyze this data via mobile devices.

3. Launch a crawl analysis

A crawl analysis is a great way to target Panda problems, especially for large sites that have thousands and thousands of pages. Webmasters often run a crawl analysis after being hit by an update, but these evaluations are good even once traffic is restored. Basically, you’re looking for pages with thin content, strange redirects, duplicate content and so forth. When you target the troublemakers, you can then work toward a solution for getting these pages repaired.

4. Use the fetch and render tool

Google launched a new tool when Panda 4.0 was rolled out: fetch and render. The tool allows you to fetch a URL on your site as a Googlebot and take a snapshot of the rendered page. Googlebot can then fetch the necessary resources such as JavaScript and CSS to render the page like a user would. It’s a neat tool that should be used on your top landing pages. You may think that everything is perfect in paradise, but the fetch and render tool can show you that everything, in fact, may not be okay.

5. Enlist third-party feedback

Many webmasters are simply too close to their website so they fail to look at things in an objective manner. Take a step back and have real people look through your site and provide you with real feedback. This is the best way to understand user engagement, something that Panda takes very seriously. If your users aren’t happy on your site, they’ll bounce off quickly and fail to be engaged, therefore hurting your relationship with Panda.

 

 

About the Author: Adrianna Mieras

Adrianna is an SEO Strategist at SEMGeeks. She holds a BA in Communication Studies with a concentration in Digital Communication, Information and Media from Rutgers University. She takes pride in her work and thrives off of "position one" success. Born and raised at the Jersey Shore, Adrianna spends her free time riding her bike along the beach and swimming in the ocean. She has a passion for people, places and new experiences. It is rare to find her without a smile on her face.

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