Staying on Your SEO Toes in a Post-Panda World
You are probably aware of the fact that Google is the number one search engine on the web today and is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. This means that, in order to funnel more traffic to your website, you will need to be on the most sought after place on Google’s online estate, and that means your website should be found at least on the first page of Google’s search engine results, if not the first URL on that page. This is where the role of the SEO comes in.
If you have been involved in search engine optimization for at least over a year, you will agree that managing websites, especially those that are build for e-commerce has become extremely hard, mainly due to the changes in the search engines algorithms of Google. Unfortunately, these updates and changes in the algorithms such as Google’s Panda updates happen frequently and can play havoc with your e-commerce website.
The Panda Effect:
Ever since the first Google Panda update a few years ago, e-commerce websites have felt the blow, which first came in the form of a devalued ranking in the SERPs which later on, transformed into poor sales. What the Panda updates did was it rooted out even some of the legit e-commerce websites with the websites that were below par which left online businesses reeling. And after experiencing the devastation caused by a few Pandas, SEO experts and online marketers were both asking themselves the same question, Is the Google Panda alert out to get us?
But what people didn’t realize is that, the devastation that was caused by Google’s Panda alerts had little to do with the updates themselves and everything to do with how the e-commerce websites were operated.
The basic idea of Google’s Panda alerts were to root out duplicate content, to improve Google’s own search results, which is the reason why some e-commerce websites felt the sting more than others. Today, Google’s algorithms are more advanced than ever, which means that search engine optimizers need to be more alert than ever before.
To be able to adapt to the Google crawlers, the following lines are going to give some information on how SEO’s can adjust their e-commerce website to make it more Google friendly.
Web page content seems to be one of the biggest problems for many e-commerce SEO campaigns today. Reason being, because the content of a page is the online thing that will attract a person and make them visit the website again and again. Online content, be it in the form of text or video also needs to be interesting so the visitor won’t get bored and simply click away.
The content of an e-commerce website has also a lot to do with the websites organic rankings on the search engines. Web pages that have unique and interesting content posted on them are usually found higher up the Google SERPs.
This is where the Google Panda updates do the most damage. Remember, the updates are meant to root out duplicate content, so, stay away from copying content or manufacturer descriptions from other sources on your webpage or it will result in a devalued page rank on Google’s search results. Try to re-write the descriptions of the manufacturers instead.
It’s really a shame that most e-tailers fail to use micro-formatting and rich snippets. Micro-formatting is a crucial part of an e-commerce website because it makes information of specific products more accessible and much easier for Google to index.
Micro-formatting enables the search engine to properly identify different information related to a specific product and website.
There is nothing worse than having a broken link, whether it was just a mistake or a page that got removed. Dead ends like these are frustrating to both the e-commerce website and the clients. Apart from that, broken links are also penalized by Google whose job it is to make sure nothing ruins their online searcher’s experience. Having a link that leads to a 404 error will eventually cause your webpage to drop from the ranking of the SERP’s results.
Though, these tips do not guarantee the number one spot on Google’s search engine page, it will enable e-commerce websites to dodge the bullet when it comes to Google’s Panda updates.