How to Repair Your Google Rankings

April 22, 2013

SEO Optimization

Google-Penguin-NewsIntroduction

It is vital for you to first establish whether your site has been hit by Google Panda or Google Penguin. The Penguin algorithm was launched around the 24th April 2012 so traffic drops near this date indicate that Penguin is responsible. You will also notice that the keywords you have used the most in your exact match anchor text are the ones penalized the hardest. The easiest way to see your backlink profile is to use www.majesticseo.com to analyse your links. The summary page will show you the anchor text volumes for each keyword.

Back-Links

Prior to Google launching the Penguin algorithm, you could use up to 70% exact match keyword density and rank well, overnight this dropped to 5%. You need to reduce the volume of keyword rich anchor text links. Replace them with Brand links, URL based links and ‘junk’ links. Your company or website are good examples of what to use for Brand links. Keep your links looking natural by using different URL variations;

  • http://www.xyzcompany.com
  • http://www.xyzcompany.com/
  • http://xyzcompany.com
  • http://xyzcompany.com/
  • www.xyzcompany.com
  • www.xyzcompany.com/
  • xyzcompany.com
  • xyzcompany.com/

Different Class C IP addresses will give your back-links more weight than ever. Links from topic related sites are much more valuable to you then they used to be. Link from trusted sites with Google PR. Link from pages that have links pointing to them are more authoritative than unlinked to pages. Links on pages that themselves have established back-links are the best links to get.

Link Networks

You should avoid automated link networks because Google doesn’t like site owners using them and sooner or later you will be penalized for using them.

On-Page SEO

The maximum on-page keyword density you should aim for to keep The ideal keyword density to comply with Google Panda is around 2%. Add an external link within your page content to an authority .gov or .edu site because Google likes to see external authority links.

Website Content

The content on your site needs to be unique to you, well written and of only the highest quality. Contextual linking is the process of creating links from words within your content, either to more of your own content, or to external content. It is considered a good practice for page quality.

Using Graphics

A video will help to increase the time spent on your page, and photo’s should be used to break up large blocks of text. All images on your pages should have alt text that describes the image using a variety of keywords and phrases for each image. Make sure that you use a spelling checker to test all your content and that it makes sense to you. Google can determine the ‘reading age’ for different text and can establish if a professor or a schoolboy wrote your content. When you are writing new content aim to write at least 500 words for each page because this amount of content has been shown to be advantageous for good search engine rankings.

Google, Bing and Yahoo like content that real people like, so write your content so that your readers enjoy consuming what you write. Google will reward you when they can see real visitors engaging with your site. You can write ‘natural’ sounding content using different words with the same meaning because Google uses latent semantic indexing (LSI) to associate related terms within your content.

Best Use of Metatags

Unique meta data tags should be on each individual page of your website. You will be penalized in SERP’s if more than one page has the same metadata. should contain unique data, if you have duplicates edit them because you will be penalized in the search results. The meta description tag is usually used in search engine results below your page heading. For this reason you should structure it to get a better click through, not for keyword spamming.

User Engagement

Website load speed is an important metric for good Google rankings. Check your websites load speed using YSlow in Firefox because if your pages take time to load you won’t rank very high. The volume of visitors that don’t like your website content when they arrive and instantly hit the back button represent your bounce rate. This needs to be as low as possible, but a maximum of 55%.

Page Views and Time on Site

Increasing the average page views per visitor will improve your SERP’s rankings because Google uses average page views as an indicator of site content quality. Google uses the ‘average time on site’ metric to measure the quality and relevance of your content. The longer a visitors remains on your site, the better your content is considered to be.

All of the above listed SEO elements is important for your ranking success. A weakness in any one of them will affect your sites search performance, so address each one in turn and improve everything you can to make your site a quality website.

Featured images:
  •  License: Image author owned

Dave Holland is the managing Director of DeehoSEO, a leading UK search engine optimisation consultancy. You can keep up to date with all of Google’s updates and algorithm changes here

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