Practical Post-Panda SEO Tips (and a Warning)

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The basics of the Google Panda update - if you go by Google's 23 Questions - are that you want to focus on trust and quality. (Although, Aaron Wall over at SEO Book had a good look at why the questions may not be that easy to answer all the time.)

Still, there are some things that you should be doing now - after Panda - if you want to become or maintain being a player online. Most of these you should have already been following, but a good reminder is always good. Unfortunately for some, the reminder came as a big dip in traffic and revenue.

Build a Brand, not Just Another Website

Are you building a brand or simply pumping out cookie-cutter websites? If you're doing the latter, ask yourself when you last saw a super-large and successful cookie-cutter site (whether it be MFA, auto-blogging or any of the other non-sense the dream chasers chase.) Can you remember?

Most large, successful bloggers (and websites) have built a brand around themselves. Building a brand isn't easy, but nothing in life that is worth it is easy. If you take the time to build a brand, you are going to want to protect it as much as you can. This means watching the type of content you use as well as other factors as you do business on the web.

About two years ago, I really started concentrating on making money online. Before that I was chasing journalism assuming that if I did something good the money would come naturally. Anyway, I decided to take a few different routes - diversification is good!

I started up a few cookie-cutter type sites in tight niches, but I also bought some broad niche sites that I could grow into brands. It has been slow going, but it is starting to pay off. Having an authority site (or two) is a good thing.

Other Post-Panda SEO Tips

Here are some more quick bonus tips to help your SEO efforts after the Google Panda (or Farmer) update.

  • Quality over Quantity - Brute force SEO is dying. Sure, it was nice while it lasted, but so were ringtones (and rebills) for some people. It is better to offer the world wide web true quality. For this, you will be rewarded with links, traffic, and search engine LOVE. Some may argue that "quality" is hard to pin down, but if you have an active online community that forms around your website and your traffic (and revenue) keep increasing, chances are you are producing quality content. Be unique - offer something NEW.
  • Automate, but Smartly - Sure, you can automate a lot of your SEO efforts (even content creation), but the more time you spend on producing content, the easier it is going to be to get quality links. That said, some things should be automated. Finding blogs to manually post on in your niche? Good idea. Tracking keyword positions across the search engines? Good idea. SEO automation tools are not inherently evil. It's all about how you use them.

Warning: Diversify Traffic Sources NOW

As you know, many "good sites" were hit with the Panda update along with the "bad sites." The ones that came out okay were those that do NOT rely only on free, organic SEO traffic.

Whether it is an email list (recommended) or even PPC or media buys, you should diversify your traffic sources if you want to survive in the years ahead.


K. Paul Mallasch publishes a Webmaster Blog that is looking for Guest Bloggers!
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