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Forget Panda, Provide Value

I just got the latest newsletter from Netelixr, a Search company owned by my friend Udayan Bose. The title was Making the Second Half of 2011 Count With Google Panda.  Pointing out that there are only 67 days till back-to-school and 6 months to the holiday season, the main message is getting your site SEO ready:

  1. BE HELPFUL: Make sure your content is unique, original and helpful to consumers. Shift focus from only getting backlinks to providing rich information to visitors.
  2. BE BUZZWORTHY: Start working on creating viral videos, blogs, whitepapers, webinars and +1 feature to create buzz and allow visitors to voice their views.
  3.  BE INFORMATIVE: Research more about the website before submitting your content for not just higher page rank but also for good authority in terms of traffic and social sharing, less ads more information etc.
  4. DO THE BASICS: On-Page optimization techniques (Focus on robust inter linking, image and header optimization).
  5. PROVIDE VALUE: Actively promote & update blogs/forums by providing expert guidance vs. simply looking for a backlink.

I’d like to expand upon this a bit.

  1. Be Helpful: Providing good content is always critical. Try and  go “beyond” good content to focused content, which at once informs your visitor about your products, trains them in what they are looking for and entertains. Simple product desctiprions are not enough anymore.
  2. Be Buzzworthy: Before starting your videos, blog posts, white papers and webinars pick a “image” you’d like to project. Ordinary won’t cut it. You need to pick an Image/Brand/Emotion/Message that says you’ve got something special no one else does. Now make sure your message is portrayed cosistantly across all your media. Don’t forget to make your content easy to share.
  3. Be Informative: When looking for others to point to your site authority is key. Also look for for sites with very active communities. Be active in those communities with participants that show authroity. Deliver your message in an open and sharing manner. Never pander or self promote, but teach instead.
  4. Do the Basics: You could probably write a book on the basics of SEO alone. Deep linking to your own site with appropriate keywords is certainly critical as is making sure you’ve covered images tags and headers. Pay particular attention to your title and descripton tags. Too many people spend time and money getting to the top of the search results only to find that no one clicks on their links because the copy the sercher sees does not reflect their goals.
  5.  Provide Value: And we have our title. This is the overarching goal of the first four recommendations. Value is helpful, buzzworthy, Informative and cannot exist unless you do the basics.

Bottom line – Panda is here, it’s done what Google had to do, it cleared out a lot of junk sites and hopefuly making search better for all of us. Unfortunately it may have hit many good sites as well. The key is to focus on continuing to deliver great content that meets the objectives of a searcher.

Thanks to Nick at NetElixir for this great email and reminding me that the time for action is “always now”.



Pencil image from PSD Graphics

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