You would probably never expect to be hurt by a panda, am I right? After all, they are so cute and cuddly. But some changes to the Google algorithm, dubbed “Google Panda” (and more recently the “Penquin” changes) could be quite damaging to small businesses. That is, unless they are willing to be flexible and roll with the punches.
All of these changes, simply meant to devalue spam sites by placing a higher value on original content, have seen some major backlash from the small business community. It seems that major sites like the YouTubes, Amazons, and Walmarts of the world have gotten a huge push to the top of the listings (as if they needed it) while the Mom and Pops have all but disappeared from the rankings.
So how can the small businesses fight back and succeed despite disappearing from Google?
Here are some tips:
Content, Content, Content. Us bloggers always seem to sing the praises of original content. But now it’s even more important. If you’re a small business and you’re not blogging, now would be a great time to start. It’s not just quantity either, slapping a bunch of words on a page really isn’t going to cut it. Panda necessitates that the content is quality – in this case, useful to the end user. What knowledge do you have as a small business owner that can be useful to your readers?
Keep it clean. Panda seriously penalizes companies that use “black hat” shady tactics to get to the top of the rankings, so it’s more important than ever keep your actions legit and your site squeaky clean. This means not purchasing backlinks by the bundle, not stuffing your page chock-full of keywords, and not completely covering your site in ads.
Expand Your Pay Per Click. Though it may be a little tougher for small businesses to rank on Google organically, Google Adwords remains relatively un-impacted by the Google Panda changes and is still a great place to generate small business traffic. The key here is to really focus on targeting your most driving key words and most importantly linking to the correct page for that keyword.
How have the Google changes hit your small business website?