Prospering In A Post Panda and Penguin World - 500 SEO Tips: Essential Strategies To Bulldoze Through Google's Rankings, Increase Traffic and Go Viral (2015)

500 SEO Tips: Essential Strategies To Bulldoze Through Google's Rankings, Increase Traffic and Go Viral

Chapter 5: Prospering In A Post Panda and Penguin World

Right now, you can do a search and get access to glittering content that answers all your questions.

Do that same search five years ago, and you’d probably find some glittering pages but you’d also find a load of garbage. This thin content would engage in several black hat SEO techniques meaning that they manipulated search engines and artificially boosted their rankings. The only reason these pages existed was because they could buy thousands of links for small money, plus engaging in keyword stuffing and link schemes. You could be a SEO master but you could also be a terrible content creator. These were the hapless times before Google Panda.

Google were working hard to claw their way through these worthless pages for years. Matt Cutts, Head of Webspam continued working on this research and in 2011, they came up with a plan:

Lots of animals.

They updated their search algorithm (one update called Google Panda and the other called Google Penguin) to move great pages higher and move dodgy, low quality pages lower.

This chapter will teach you how to prosper in this new world, and make sure that you don't get caught out.

170. User Experience Matters

Deliver an excellent user experience with; faster PageSpeed, easy navigation, static pages and great content.

171. Don’t Do A Ton Of Backlinking All At Once

This is because it will result in an unnatural spike in backlinks, making it look like the backlinks are artificial. Keep your backlinking efforts at a very slow yet constant pace. Getting three powerful backlinks spread across a week is good practice, rather than the same all in one day.

172. Watch Your Keyword Density

is the amount of times a specific keyword is used within a page. It is used as a percentage, ie: the (number of times it appears over the total amount of words) x 100. The ideal keyword density for your chosen keyword should be about 1.5%-3%. Never exceed more than 3%, because it is viewed as spam in Google’s eyes. Don’t even worry about keyword density because it is not a major ranking factor – just don’t overdo any keywords.

173. Content Is King

An age-old cliché can be surprisingly correct. Great content is your key to Google domination, because many websites can’t be bothered to do the work. 1500 words may sound like a curse plagued upon you but it’s shorter than you think. As a beginning writer, it took me about five hours straight to get that nailed plus a few images. These days, I can type my way to 1500 in about two hours. Once you begin, it will get easier and easier. The time it takes you to write great content is less than the amount of backlinking you would have to do to match that.

174. Appeal To The Hummingbird

The Hummingbird update is all about understanding the searcher's query at a human level, and providing answers which solves their problem. You need to optimize not just for Panda/Penguin updates but also for Hummingbird.

Make your pages as fluent and natural as possible. Don't make it look like you're trying to make money, but rather that you want to offer the answer to the users search. This means epic content, LSI keywords (synonyms, words related to your targeted keyword) and a more conversational way of writing.

175. Delete Any Pre-Panda Pages You Have

Get rid of any poor quality pages you may have, ie: thin, duplicate, short, unhelpful or spun pages. Once these are gotten rid of, your website will receive a new burst of life.

176. Vary The Kinds Of Anchor Text You Use

Don’t keep hyperlinking the same keywords every time because it looks very unnatural to see anchor text so similar. Instead, target different keywords in your anchor text. For example, if you linked back to your content on smoking salmon three times, the anchor text could be: “smoked salmon”, “how to smoke salmon” and “salmon smoking”. This diversity really looks impressive!

177. Is Your Content Authoritative?

According to the Google Webmaster Central blog, here are some questions you should be asking yourself when it comes to both your website and the content you create.

· Would you trust the information presented in this article?

· Is this article written by expert/enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?

· Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?

· Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?

· Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?

The essential thing to take away from this tip is that you need to demonstrate authority on your niche. This means that you need to know the subject well, write about it in-depth and making it "bookmarkable" and shareable. Go the extra mile by adding statistics and even a few personal experiences.

178. Be A Grammar Geek, It Helps

The Panda updates are also stamping down on poor grammar, since it demonstrates a lack of authority on the subject and also weakens the user experience. Make sure to check your spelling and grammar throughout every page on your website, and in every blog post that you write.

Whilst there is no need to go too overboard on it, just keep in mind that Google favors sites with excellent writing that is thorough, has no obvious grammar or spelling mistakes and easy to both read and understand (this varies depending on the audience).

179. Read What Google Webmasters Have To Say About "Making A High Quality Website" Google have a rather lengthy list of questions you can use to see if the content you are providing is Panda friendly and if it's considered high quality by Google. Read through this list and try to adhere to the guidelines.

· Would you trust the information presented in this article?

· Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?

· Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?

· Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?

· Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?

· Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?

· Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?

· Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?

· How much quality control is done on content?

· Does the article describe both sides of a story?

· Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?

· Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?

· Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?

· For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?

· Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?

· Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?

· Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?

· Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?

· Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?

· Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?

· Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?

· Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?

· Would users complain when they see pages from this site?

from Google Webmaster Tools blog

180. Follow Google Webmasters on Social Media

Google have exceptional social media profiles (obviously) and almost every day, you'll get updates on the latest news, algorithms and also a wealth of SEO and web development tips.

181. Build Nofollow Links To Make Your Backlink Profile More Natural

If Google see that all of your links pass PageRank (dofollow links), they know that you've been building links for SEO purposes only and you didn't get them naturally.

By building a few nofollow links, it'll make your backlink profile look more natural and diverse. Some great places to get nofollow links are blog comments (no comment spam, though!), Wikipedia References links and Slideshare links.

182. Don’t Trade Links With Other Bloggers

If I link to your blog, you have to link back to mine. This is known as trading links or reciprocal links. You’d think that this would positively impact on both your websites, but you'd be very wrong.

You've probably learned in math class that a positive number and a negative number cancel out each other, if they're the same, eg: -2 and +2 cancel out and equal zero.

Apply this theory to trading links and you'll see what you get. Getting a link, and giving one in return cancels out the two of them. This gives a very obvious indication that you've been exchanging links.

Google want links to show that you're website is worth watching (in a good way), not to give someone a favor.

A lot of experts still say that trading links is still an okay practice, but there's no point since the links will cancel each other out anyway.

183. Use Only Trustworthy Advertisers

If you give dodgy sites an advertising space on your website, these ads could be demolishing the trust that Google has with your website. Make sure to check the ads that are being featured on your website, and that they are credible. Don't sell ad space to any spam sites, or sites which lack Google's trust. Otherwise, you could be showing the wrong signals.

184. Keep Advertising Beneath The Fold

The term "above the fold" means it's the content that loads up on the page, without you having to scroll down. Basically, the first "screen" of content that appears on your computer. Try to keep your advertising underneath this first screenshot, in other words, you have to scroll down to start seeing ads.

The advantages of this is that Google gets the impression that you're not a spam site (which love plastering the top of their webpages with dodgy ads). Also, it'll get your page loading up faster.

If you rely heavily on advertising income, and cannot afford to get rid of ads that are above the fold, try to reduce the number that you have.

If your website has been penalized by Google in the past and you're trying to recover – it would be worth decreasing the number of ads that you have above the fold.

185. Check That Other Site's Aren't Copying or Spinning Your Content

The last thing you want is to get penalized by Google because other sites have spun your content…and you're the person getting the blame. I've learned it the hard way by not checking my content for duplicates. When I eventually did (after a nasty Google algorithm update), I discovered my content had been duplicated more than fifteen times on multiple sites.

Prevent this disaster by doing one of the following checks on your content. It's best to check all of your content including blog posts, static website pages and anything else.

186. Search A Snippet Of Your Content and Check For Duplicates

Pick a random snippet from your blog post (about one sentence in length) and enter it into Google. Basically, if another website has that exact snippet, you should be getting suspicious!

187. Check For Duplicates With

Copy and paste your entire blog post into the text box on This super handy tool will let you know if anyone has been duplicating your blog post.

188. Found Duplicates of Your Content? Contact The Webmaster

If in the very likely event, you find that your content has been duplicated on other websites, you need to take action by getting those duplicates taken down. The first step is to contact the webmaster who is in charge of editing the site and/or creating the content. Send them the following email:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am the owner of the following website, and I have written a blog post which can be found here

I have found that you have duplicated my content which can be found here:

Please remove this content from your website immediately.

Otherwise, I will have to file a complaint against your website.


Your Name

189. No Contact Details? Get Their Contact Details Through WHOIS

Some websites are sneaky enough to have no contact details whatsoever, making it impossible to contact them. No worries though, you can get their exact contact details through Search for their website domain on this site, and you should see that their contact details are right there.

However, some website owners keep their contact details confidential by getting their website domain signed up with private registration. This is not the easy route to being impossible to track down. It's still possible to get the duplicated content removed and this is through contacting their hosting service.

190. Get The Entire Website Removed By Contacting Their Hosting Service

You will find that most webmasters will take down the content immediately, since they don't want their entire website taken down by their hosting. However, there are still a lot of thieves out there who won't bat an eyelid to the email you just sent.

Instead, you need to hit them where it hurts most – getting their website taken down by their hosting service.

You can find out who is hosting the website by paying a visit to Input the URL of the website and you should see who is hosting the website. Get their contact details and send them an email like this:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am the owner of the website, and I have written a blog post which can be found at:

I would like to bring to your attention that the website which is being hosted by your service, has been duplicating my content. The duplicated content can be found here

I have sent them an email already to remove the content but they have not removed the content yet. I have no reason but to file a DMCA complaint if they do not take down the duplicated content.


Your Name

191. Kick Out Pages With No Traffic

If you have a lot of stale pages that no one is bothering to read and pages that aren't getting any search traffic, it looks terrible in Google's eyes. It shows that your website is not authoritative on the subject and must not be relevant to search users. This means that these flat pages that get no traffic could be pulling your entire site down.

Either tweak the content on these pages to get social media traffic (more on this later on) or change the targeted keywords. If that doesn't work, just delete these pages from your website.

You'll even find an increase in traffic once you do this, because the higher quality websites won't be weighed down by the stale pages.

192. Imitate What You Like Most

Panda is all about epic content and it’s the websites with the most epic content that always wins. Sometimes the best strategy for prospering during Panda is imitating what you like most, ie: what content do you like to read? Maybe it's innovative techniques, or posts with lots of juicy facts and statistics or posts with charts, diagrams and engaging visuals.

Most people like the exact same type of content that you do, so by tailoring your content and making it similar to the type of content you like – it can do the same to thousands of other people.

193. Get Rid of Outdated Pages

There's a huge difference between evergreen content and outdated content. Evergreen content is content that will remain relevant and up to date even five years from now, eg: gardening tips or DIY tutorials. Many websites still have articles from over ten years ago which are up to date even today. However, outdated content could be written only two years ago and be completely out of date today, eg: old news, old scientific findings or technology articles.

If you have any articles that are completely outdated and you cannot make any changes to refresh them and make them current, just get rid of them.

194. Were You Affected By Panda? Check With This Tool

I've found this tool to be very useful over the years, especially when Panda and Penguin updates are rolled out. It basically shows your web traffic for the last few months, and displays when specific algorithm updates rolled out. You can then see if you got a drop in traffic, or rarely – an increase in traffic. It partners with your Google Analytics data so you get the most accurate traffic data. Quite a handy tool! (

195. How "Stormy" Were The Rankings This Week?

Get a weather forecast…for Google’s rankings! This daily forecast displays if the rankings have been turbulent this week or if Google rolled out a new algorithm update. The hotter the temperature, the more “stormy” the rankings are. It's a little vague but still worth a look. Check it out at