Last year in November 2011, Google unleashed a wild Panda update upon bloggers and ruined many people’s lives! Of course, SEM wasn’t around back then. But a lot of blogs we know got affected by this algorithm update. Some sites were positively effected, and their traffic soared, while many, many others saw the bad side of the coin and their traffic virtually came to a standstill. Clearly, they were doing things wrong. And at the end of March this year, another Panda update was rolled out. If anything, the new update worsened the situation rather than repair it. That means we will have to change and fix things according to Google’s preferences. Who knows what Google has in store for us in the next update? Here, we’ll talk about some WordPress plugins that can help you do the changing and fixing on your blog.
Where did you go wrong?
This is a debatable question in itself. It isn’t entirely clear what criteria Google is looking for. But the major focus seems to be on SEO, quality, and backlinks. Google is the leading search engine, therefore it now wants things done its way! Google does not like bad or faulty SEO. This is where these plugins will help you. These are mostly SEO plugins that ensure that your SEO is error free.
Next comes the backlinks factor. Cheap, purchased links are disliked by Google. Most such links contain duplicate anchor text, which is Google’s ways of knowing immediately when a link has been brought. Not only that, Google also check the relevance of the two pages. Now if you bought 1,000 links for $9.99 (or similar), chances are that the pages linking to you would not be related to your own site. Avoid buying links and work on building authentic links instead.
The next very important factor is quality content. Previously, Google emphasized more on quantity than quality. Now, it’s going in reverse. Google hates similar or redundant content, which may be seen by Google as spam.
Other than that, Google is now looking for authentic and quality information. Having a very large keyword density, a lot of redundant content, and copied information makes a lot of content, but very little unique information. Such a site is called a content farm, where there is just quantity but no quality.
It isn’t as simple as that. But the solution may lie in optimizing your SEO. Hence we go back to our original point; using plugins on WordPress to avoid any more Panda-like disasters. I will list some useful plugins that you should use. And since I might have already discussed about some of them in greater detail, I won’t bore you with long descriptions here.
Broken Link Checker
Checking for broken links is one of the first things you should do for better SEO. Broken links badly effect your blog structure, and search engines encounter problems when they land on a 404.
Easy WP SEO
This is a must have plugin. It analyzes your keywords and helps you improve them. It also improves your SEO score.
SEO Smart Links
This tool automatically links keywords and phrases within your site. It also allows you to add attributes like ‘nofollow‘. Search Engines like inter-linking pages. And inter-linking pages also helps reduce your bounce rate and improve your page rankings.
Missing SEO Data
This plugin can perhaps prove to be extremely useful. It scans all posts and pages, and adds meta descriptions and keywords, the absence of which can harm your blog.
Meta Robots WordPress plugin
This handy little plugin allows you to make any of your ages or posts noindex. noindex means search engines won’t be able to see your posts. That way, you can screen out irrelevant pages that might hurt your rankings, and only allow search engines to visit pages that add value and worth.
WP Super Cache
Google likes pages that load faster. Cache plugins do just that! They speed up the process of loading pages. WP Super Cache saves pages as static HTML documents. So whenever a request is made, those html files load up in users’ browsers without processing any heavy PHP scripts. Two other similar plug-ins are also available; Hyper Cache and W3 Total Cache.
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