5 Tips to stay ahead of the Panda

5 Tips to stay ahead of the Panda

Since the Panda was born in February 2011, there have been a total of 27 updates to assist it in detecting low quality content with more precision. During 2011 and 2012, updates arrived monthly. Panda 4.1 struck on 25/09/2014, four months after Panda 4.0, suggesting a new, quarterly pattern. Far from being black and white, the Panda has many shades of grey. It is vital for recovering companies to ensure they get well out of these grey areas to ensure they are not hit again and again. Here is how.

Analysing Landing Pages

Compare post-recovery and previous timeframes with Google’s Analytic and Webmaster tools to determine traffic level changes per URL. Closely examine the content that has seen the most post-recovery traffic to ensure it is of top quality. This includes ensuring keywords are relevant and lead users to the content they expect.

Smart Phone Users

Much of the data collected for the Panda comes from smart phone traffic. It is therefore essential to know how much mobile traffic your site gets and where this traffic goes. Analysing top landing pages with multiple mobile devices to ensure there are no ad, content, technical and other problems is vital to prevent future panda hits.

Fetch and Render

Forming part of the Webmaster Tools, Fetch and Render enables you to fetch site URLs and see snapshots of the rendered pages as Googlebot (for both desktops and smart phones). Use this tool to ensure the site has no serious rendering problems.

Human Review

Get independent users to go through your site and report any ad, content and usability problems; technical glitches, spelling/ grammatical errors and anything else that feels sounds or looks wrong in terms of design and trustworthiness. Make sure your testers know you expect honest, not ‘sugar-coated’ feedback, and deal with any reported issues immediately.

Crawl Analysis

Perform a crawl analysis of pages, in particular those receiving the most post-recovery traffic, to hunt for duplicate or thin content; soft 404 pages, funky redirects, slow loading URLs, and so on. Analyse collected data to identify potential Panda issues. Some issues may be minor, but others will be like trails of tasty bamboo leading the beastie right back to you.

Continual Monitoring

Continually monitoring your site in this manner will avoid recurrence of past issues and prevent future Panda updates from causing you more grief.