How to Recover from Panda Penalties

I'm seeing an increasing number of new clients asking how to recover from Panda penalties they've suffered due to their previous writer or SEO agency's less-than-ideal practices.

The problem is that, as Google's algorithms get more and more complex, it gets harder and harder to find an easy way to cheat them - and even if you do find the right formula, there's no guarantee that you won't be heavily penalised the next time a major update is rolled out.

That's why the best solution for the long-term is simply to focus on good-quality, intelligently (and naturally) keyworded content that adds genuine value to your website.

Building your site with decent content is the simplest answer to how to recover from Panda penalties - but the operative word there is 'decent'.

Striking a Balance

Nobody's expecting your website content to sound like it was written by Emily Bronte, and your audience would often be considerably put off if it was.

Likewise, you shouldn't expect to vanish from the search results completely, simply because a page has a typo on it, or because the same phrase naturally crops up two or three times - these are not what Google is worried about.

The more you're thinking about your content, the more likely it is that you're doing something wrong.

Just focus on producing content that's a natural fit for your website, and written as well as possible - and that means clarity and conciseness, not a weird attempt at poetic jargon.

Red Herrings

The best way to avoid Panda penalties completely is to avoid the quick-fix options to building your site content.

That means:

  • no copying and pasting from other sites - duplicate content is bad
  • no automatically rewritten articles using synonym/thesaurus software - bad grammar is, well, bad
  • no off-topic pages just for the sake of getting the keywords in - unnatural SEO is bad

Stick instead to pages that complement not just one another, but your website as a whole, and you should be fine. And don't panic.

Quality First

I've been writing for the web since 1998, but I still think of myself as a writer first - not a web writer, just a writer.

My focus is always on correct grammar, punctuation and so on - things that SEO agencies will often gloss over in pursuit of an uninterrupted long-tail keyword phrase.

Google Panda shifts the balance in favour of a natural, writer-led approach, and away from artificial SEO tweaks, putting content quality on the agenda in a way that hasn't really been seen before.

I'm already helping a number of clients to recover from Panda penalties - and if you need to take your site in a new direction to reclaim your search rankings, I'd love to help you too.