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Google's Latest Panda Update: An Action Plan for Small Businesses

Google's Panda Update and Small Businesses
Google's Panda Update and Small Businesses
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Well, it happened again. Panda 4.0 officially hit the Google search results with their latest update on May 20th. This update is one in a long line from Google that aims to give a boost to websites that have great quality content and weed out thin or low quality sites in search results. Google has designed this algorithm to provide searchers with the best possible search results and puts a huge emphasis on valuable, non-spammy content. Some companies that churn out junk content are running scared, but Panda does present a great opportunity for businesses that produce good content to hop over their competitors.

There was a ton of speculation before the Panda update amongst SEOs about what the update would be and how aggressive it’s reach would be. Although the results of the update remain to be seen (as most results take up to 3 months to see), the Panda update might have been done to reverse some of the damage done to sites that had great content but were impacted because of other on-page reasons. Google had announced several months ago that Panda would be integrated into the algorithm updates and that the ”softer” Panda would be less noticeable. This update seemed gentle at first, but the more data that comes in, the more aggressive it seems to be. As more information surfaces, it’s becoming obvious that spammy sites and companies with little original content will lose visibility.

If your website is cluttered with junk content and spam, your business search results are probably suffering from the update. If you are providing quality content on your website, you are most likely seeing better results. But many businesses are running around in circles trying to avoid getting lost in the search results. What can small business owners do so they don’t get eaten up and spit out by this latest update? Below are some tips on what you, as a business owner, can do to optimize your website ranking and benefit from Google’s Panda 4.0 update.

What Does Google’s Panda 4.0 Update Mean for Your Business? Your business website(s) may be losing out because of the latest update so here is what you can do to start being proactive:

1) Come up with a Plan

Do you have a content marketing plan? If not, its time to create one. Figure out why you are creating content in the first place and who your target audience is. Also consider any benefits your audience receives from your content. Once you have the answers, you can start implementing your content marketing plan.

2) Seek Help

It is an overwhelming task to constantly create content that is meaningful and of good quality. It is easy to get distracted and as a business owner, you probably do not have the time it takes to devote to content creation. Therefore, hiring someone to lighten the load is essential. You can hire an outside firm or add tasks to an existing employee who can devote time to an editorial calendar with blog posts and content.

3) Lead by Example

You want to make use of your expertise in your given field by writing about topics that your target audience wants to learn about. By simply asking your customers what they want to know and then writing about that, you can gauge how well people are responding. Your website’s analytics will list which search terms are steering people to your website and is a valuable source of information. Be sure and stay away from redundant content throughout your website and focus on high quality and unique topics instead. Another tip: Make sure your website is easy to navigate. The pages and images should load quickly and there should be no broken links or errors. We know for a fact that Google ranks websites with easy usability higher than those that are hard to use.

4) You Have Usable Content, Now What?

Ok, so you have created quality content. Now what? You need to decide the best way to get the content in front of your customers and how best to leverage it. Create a document that has all the places your article should go after it is published. You can upload them on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and many other social media platforms. This way both you and your team will know where your content will go.

5) Keep Your Audience

Now that your audience has read your content, the last step is conversion. To boost your message, use lead-capturing tools. You should also create a consistent flow of blogs and other useable content. This boosts your message and feeds leads to people that find your content. Most people will need to be given dozens of interactions with your content before you see conversion. The hope is that some of these leads will actually pick up the phone or order your product after reading an article of yours.

Small businesses can benefit greatly from Google’s latest Panda 4.0 update by creating useable content that makes its way to the top of Google’s search results. This happens only with a lot of time, work and planning. Using these methods described above, you will see higher rankings and that will ultimately lead to more sales!