This may sound like a strange topic for a solopreneur site, but unless you are investing in your SEO education, you are likely unaware that you are feeding a Panda. And if you provide this Panda with the wrong diet, your site could end up dinged with a lower page ranking on Google.
The Panda of today’s topic isn’t about the endangered black and white Chinese bear, but a machine learning algorithm created by Google engineer, Navneet Panda. Actually a version 2.2 Panda released in March.
It used to be that you could follow some basic SEO rules for page ranking dominance:
- Create keyword-rich original content on a regular basis
- Include keywords in your tags, titles, slugs and descriptions
- Get links back from quality sites
- Design user-pleasing pages clutter-free from spammy ads
- Include social media icons for easy sharing
- Include your content on a variety of social networking sites and directories
However, with the Internet becoming a more crowded and competitive virtual arena of solopreneurs, you now must do more so your site can stand out as a source of quality versus those that try to play tricks to grab attention and credit card numbers.
Google realizes this, so they created this machine learning algorithm, Panda, to assess how content creators disseminate information and offer sales opportunities to users and how users react to determine how they need to alter their page rankings.
One of the big changes with Panda is Google paying more attention to user and usage data metrics … i.e. How long do visitors spend on your site? Are they viewing multiple pages? Are they bouncing back out of the site after a quick review? How are your CTR (click through rates) from SERPs (search engine results pages)? What is the diversity of viewers? Panda can measure this through Chrome, Android, Google Toolbar, and more. When people click through to your site, do they stay and browse multiple pages or do they bounce right back to the search result that brought them there?
Google realizes that their algorithms aren’t perfect, so they try to create balance by employing quality raters (people who review sites per Google’s guidelines) to provide a human review of sites that may be unduly liked or disliked by their algorithm. This isn’t a fault-free system, but it is the system in which your site operates.
Some key guidelines quality raters use for rating sites include:
- How would you assess the design aesthetic of this site?
- Do you consider this site to be authoritative?
- Would you be comfortable giving medicine prescribed by this site to your kids?
- Would you give this site your credit card?
So how do you feed this ruling Panda?
1. Implement the tools that will allow you to watch your site’s metrics,
2. invest in your SEO education and implementation, or
3. invest in a SEO consultant who knows how to strategize, optimize and socialize effectively.
All the Best,
The Solopreneur’s Guide