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News

Oct 21, 2011

Google Panda

Why some web sites have dropped down in their Google ranking! This article examines the importance of well branded sites now faced with Google Panda!

What is Google Panda?

Google Panda was launched earlier this year as a change in Google's algorithm. The change is quite rightly aimed at getting what users want to see at the top of the list. In other words it aims to decrease the rank of poor quality sites and increase the rank of good quality sites. The upshot of this has been a promotion in rankings for news sites and social networking sites and a relegation of rankings for advertising sites amongst other things!

So how does it work?

The way that Google Panda seems to differentiate the sites is through a number of factors including the bounce rate. The bounce rate is determined by how quickly a user clicks through to a site and clicks straight back. It's obvious really that this is an indication that the site is not what they were looking for - either it's not relevant or badly branded.

So what can you do?

The first thing is to get your site well branded.

Make sure that it attracts the right target market through the right branding. If your site is aimed at the high end and your product or service is focused on quality, make sure it looks professional, classy and sophisticated. If your site is aimed at the low end and your product or service is focused on price, make sure it is simple, clean and easy to navigate so the user gets to where they want to go fast.

Make sure your content is relevant.

There is no point spending time and money on keywords which increase traffic to your site when they are not relevant to what is on your site!

Don't duplicate content!

This is something that may have worked before but Google has become wise to it so beware!

Don't try and appeal to everyone!

Focus on a niche market and kow who you really are and what you are about. Know your strengths and weaknesses and focus on what you do best.

Plan what you want visitors to do when they enter your site.

Google Analytics and Google Goals is a great way of monitoring the behaviour of visitors when they come to your site. You can set goals as to where you want your visitors to go on your site or what action you want them to do - e.g. buy something, fill in a form, download some information. If visitors aren't doing what you want them to do then it's time to amend your website!

Improve your navigation

If it's too complicated for a visitor to get to where they want to go they will go to another website. Quick links and popular links are a good idea.

Summary

Remember that Google's prime objective is to please their users. If you can step into a potential visitor's shoes it will help you to work out what they are expecting from your site. Give them what they want and they will stay or come back. Get it wrong and your bounce rate will increase (not good!). Make sure that your site design and branding reflects the target audience you are attracting and geared up to serve well and they will know they have come to the right place!

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