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Feb 15th, 2013
With Google rolling out Panda algorithm updates once a month or so and getting more serious about content quality, website owners have no choice but to do all they can to keep spam and low quality out of their websites or they risk their sites’ visibility in search results.
In order to Panda-proof your website, you can take several simple steps, as described in detail in an article on Search Engine Watch.
First, you need to take duplicate content more seriously – as Google did – clean up your page and remove such content. Otherwise, your entire site – and not just a piece of content on it – will sink entirely in the search rankings. If you want to identify duplicate pages, use a tool such as Screaming Frog.
As important a factor as removing existing duplicate content is taking preventative measures to address the root cause of the duplicate content issues before they end up in the index. Yoast offers some valuable steps you can take to avoid any duplicate content issues.
Next, site owners should eliminate low-value, low-quality content, however, the main question here is what constitutes “low quality” content.
Google has already provided guidance to webmasters on how to identify, remove or improve shallow content. The guidance is in the form of 24 questions and is helpful in assessing page-level quality. However, a more practical approach would be to look at some of the key behavioural metrics Google uses to identify such content. These include short time on page, low to no visits and high bounce rates. What you can do with these poor performing pages is to delete such content or consolidate it into thicker and more useful documents.
The third step is to thicken up thin content. Such content appears in directory-type pages (travel and hotel sites and ticket brokers). Such content shouldn’t be deleted or merged as it helps users navigate to deeper content; instead, thin content should be thickened with original content. You can add images and videos, encourage user reviews, include content mash-ups and others.
Finally, if you want to Panda-proof your site, you need to raise your content publishing standards to develop high-quality content. Your content must be highly informative and, at the same time, easy to understand. So, you need to find authoritative, professional authors and don’t necessarily publish content everyday, just publish longer, better and meatier content less frequently, the article suggested.
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