Panda 4.1

There have been many questions, issues, fears and reservations regarding last week’s Panda Update named ‘4.1’. Big, established, and well known sites that have had firm rankings since 2012 were hit very badly because of this new update. Although this update has been labeled 4.1, there have actually been many updates to the Google Panda algorithm previously and we at Binary Option Affiliates are always here to help with some info to assist you in working with the new requirements that go along with Panda updates.

First thing to understand is that P4.1 targets affiliates, but also opens up top rankings to small/medium sized affiliates who produce high quality content for more diverse results. This is good for affiliates who target niche markets with small sites or blogs. We at Binary Option Affiliates have the necessary infrastructure, along with a large, well-trained, and experienced affiliate team, to provide the time and advice needed to specifically target these sized affiliates, allowing us to create a solid partnership and grow our businesses together.

Now when Google pushes traffic to problematic sites, it can analyze the user engagement, and then act accordingly. Therefore, some sites have seen a surge in traffic and then a dropping off. If you question the quality of your content, your user engagement, and the quality of your ads, take ACTION immediately. Make sure your users are happy. If they aren’t, then Panda will pick it up through their algorithms, and this can cause negative consequences for any business.

This version of Panda is very intuitive, and cannot be fooled easily.  For example, putting up a page with simply links will be caught immediately as content is now extremely important to the success of a page.  Pages that are ranked under specific targeted keywords, but which provide users mostly banners and affiliate links rather than the information being advertised, are looking to be punished under the guidelines of this new update. In addition to this, pages with blank spaces and broken links are signals for bad rankings.

Another major element of the P4.1 update is keyword stuffing; pages that are overloaded in the title tag, metadata, and in the body of the page are sure to be targeted, and have their rankings diminished. For example, using {city} + {target keyword} + {city} + {second target keyword} + {city} + {third target keyword} in the title, and then using those keywords heavily throughout the page will surely be caught very quickly. The days of stuffing pages and metadata with target keywords are long gone. It’s interesting to see Panda 4.1 target a number of sites employing this tactic, as well as watching those sites that invested in good content move up in the rankings.

Further to this, if you have a number of sites on the same IP using similar content and keywords, this will become a hunting ground for the new panda update.

Deception is no longer acceptable with this version of Panda. Make sure your content is content and your ads are ads. Users clicking on ads that were somehow hidden as something else result in an increased bounce rate, and will simply go back to the search results for more targeted results. Users hate being deceived and Panda even more so. If your user clicks on an ad, ensure that this is the decision they made consciously.  A high bounce rate will be caught and will affect rankings.

Sites that have been flagged by various security and trust systems like adware or spyware, or that force unwanted downloads, or spread viruses will be the first to go in this new Panda age. Users hate pop-ups (although they can convert well) especially when it’s the first impression. Trust and credibility are important factors for avoiding Panda’s hit list. Cross the line and you can send strong signals to Google that users are unhappy with your site. And bad things typically ensue.

Top Tips:

Google is all about user engagement. When focusing on a project, make sure to focus on exactly what is related to the main idea in the content, ad content etc. Ask people what they think of the site and to provide feedback on their experience. This is exactly what your account manager is for. Tap into their vast knowledge and experience to improve your sites.

Use Google Analytics to run a Panda report on your content. It could identify issues within your content that is affecting your SEO negatively.

Understand that Panda recovery takes time. You need to first make changes, then Google needs to re-crawl those changes (over time), after which it must measure user engagement again. This can take months. Be patient. Fixing a site takes time, but can be done using the correct strategy which your account manager can help provide.

In a way Panda is simple. Ensure your users are happy, engagement is strong, content is relevant, the site has a good first impression, and don’t deceive users. Trust is important.  Create it and don’t break it.