Some More Post-Panda Reflections

I’ve talked about the post-panda world we live in a few times on my blog. No I don’t mean a world without Pandas, that would be really sad, and since they are an endangered species I guess it would be possible too…so stop killing pandas! What I mean is the new world of SEO we’re living in now that Google has given a death-blow to many of the shady SEO techniques that have been used over the years. Of course not all SEO techniques are dead however many have been rendered significantly less useful.

Since I run 160 online brands I have an interesting window into the impact of these changes which for me have been all positive, but I’m not running any article directories so wasn’t much of a target. What I’ve realized is that in this post-Panda world we’re living in our competition has become much more transparent. When I do search for keywords I want to rank well for it is oftentimes other brands like the ones that I operate rather than article directories with articles about the topic.

This has given me and my team a great opportunity to learn more about our true competitors and, for lack of a better word, beat them. I’m not saying this in a mean way, great sites continue to rank well, but there are still a lot of garbage sites out there still ranking well because frankly, they’re not doing anything wrong and they don’t have any major contenders competing with them. What many of these sites are missing is a way for users to interact, add content, share ideas, or connect through their favorite social media network like Twitter or Facebook. I’m having a blast adding all kinds of interactive features to my brands and I am really happy with the response and the added connection we are making with users.

It’s interesting to see what’s happened. There are many sites that really haven’t made two many changes since they were launched, and many high-ranking sites were launched in the late 90’s or early 2000’s. They are not bad sites, they’re just boring, flat, and really just nothing but content. I’ve said a million times that content is king, and I’m not taking that back, it’s still king, but a king needs a queen, knights, a castle, land, etc.

The post-panda world really is what Google wanted it to be, a new web where sites really do need to be designed for users, not for search engines. There are more opportunities than ever to add interactivity to your sites, you can build a social network using Ning, an interactive directory using PHPMyDirectory, a interactive forum using phpBB, and the list goes on. Yes, I still spend over 50% of my development budget on content, but the rest goes into software development and adding interactivity to my sites. It’s a lot of fun to see how users react, what they like, don’t like, who comes-out to share the most and how your users, at the end of the day can actually create high-quality content for your sites just because you made it easy for them to do it.

So this post-panda world isn’t really that bad at all, it all depends on how you look at it!

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • D.Ray July 7, 2011, 4:41 am

    Hey Morgan, Maybe in your next newsletter you could reveal some of the best ways to build backlinks,that will help in getting a website from page 2 to page 1 on google.
    Social Bookmark submissions?, .edu and .gov backlinks?,etc?
    I know getting backlinks naturally takes time,but what are the most affective ways that we as website owners can do “hands-on”, to build backlinks that the google panda will accept and reward?

    Reply
  • Steve July 7, 2011, 3:13 pm

    Panda is more about on-site tactics, as well as, offsite methods like doing link building. Some tips are to use Google analytics to remove duplicate content issues, Canonicalize your site, serve up pretty urls, create unique content (use interlinking with Link titles), emphasis targeted key terms PER Page, pagespeed is a big factor, alts on images, serve up proper robots.txt / ,htaccess files and about 50 other factors.

    From there when your site is properly optimized, I would then push your link building objectives.

    Reply
  • Rommel @ cheap holidays to goa July 14, 2011, 3:56 am

    You are right Morgan. What Google has done is in the best interest of readers. It’s good for everyone.

    Reply

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