Thinking out loud – Post-Panda SEO Strategy

with 36 Comments IN Marketing & Wordpress
Post-Panda SEO

Post-Panda SEO
Post-Panda SEO

I’ve been participating in a lot more discussions lately on LinkedIn, thinking out loud, gathering my own thoughts together about what seo-methods I can just remove completely and which ones to focus on more or differently.

I thought I’d grab some of my comments that I’ve written to others and create a post out of it and see if I can get some more discussion on what others are doing and going to do now that things need to be ‘re-structured’.

In my Off-Site SEO (& lead-generation) toolkit, I include (depending on the niche/target market/budget): Press Releases, Articles, Videos, Guest-Blogging, Forum Answers, Documents (Slideshows/WhitePapers/Word Docs/PDF’s/Ebooks), Podcasts, Social Networking, Social Bookmarking, Local Directories, RSS, Images (Flickr/Panoramio/Google Images/Pinterest), WordPress/Blogger/Squidoo, Classified Ads (Gumtree/Craigslist/eBay), etc.

Some of the above might not be considered off-page SEO by others, but for me, any type of content that can be posted online, optimized for search engines, and can generate traffic to your website, I personally consider as “off-page SEO”.

As far as which one works best, they all work depending on the niche/target market and the relevant spots you place them. For example a car dealership or real estate agent in nearly any geographic region (US/Canada/Australia at least) can have massive success with video & image marketing + social media, but a bank might be better to focus on whitepapers & official press releases, a consultant can do all and any of the above to get attention, a local plumber gets most of his calls from Google and local directories, but some businesses/industries would be wasting their time doing some of the above.

I also take into account the competition, you need to do “more” than your competition if you want to get ahead of them, but sometimes just being strategic and knowing your target market, you can just do a couple of the above things to get ahead, other times, the competition is so fierce that they want to dig into all of them.

In any case, with all the Google changes, my thinking is to keep any external and internal/on-page content relevant, unique and most importantly ‘high quality’. Provide value and vary the anchor-text links back to your site.

Just thinking out loud…

Post-Panda, I’m personally going to encourage larger, more quality content (1000+ words, and really helpful, relevant content) on the client’s website/blog rather than posting to article directories. The only article directories I might consider now is the niche-specific ones in a client’s target market (if they are in the health industry, real estate/auto industry, etc)

If relevant, the 3rd party sites I would focus on now would be to leverage that same quality content by making them more “social-friendly” rather than “seo-friendly” and get “social comments/links/shares” and by default get the seo-love, by:

1.) Creating an image for each post and sharing on Pinterest, Flickr, Panoramio (whichever site is relevant to target market and client’s niche)

2.) Converting article into doc/slideshow/pdf (depending on article) and uploading to ONLY relevant and high-ranking doc-sharing sites, and not for the purpose of a backlink, rather for the purpose of brand exposure – getting targeted eyes-on the brand, so I would be looking at relevancy and quality and submitting to a ‘lot less’ sites than I used to

3.) Using slideshow/doc/pdf to create a webinar, podcast or video

4.) Share video on only a select few top-video sites relevant to client’s niche (YouTube + a couple of others) versus what we used to do is syndicate video to as many sites as possible, if it’s webinar-length/quality then client can use that to get more opt-in’s to their newsletter

5.) Share podcast on iTunes and audio-sites relevant to client’s niche and have link to download in client’s blog – (hosted on amazon s3 or 3rd party site)

6.) Have slideshow files or pdf and transcript of audio/video available as a download at bottom of article either via opt-in (if relevant to client’s goals) or as a regular way to bring audience back to clients site (again, depending on market)

7.) Share link to article & downloads on top, relevant, social-bookmarking sites as well as the main social networking places for that particuler client/market (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc)

8.) Making client’s blog more social (adding Facebook comments if relevant) and also making all content on site more social-sharing friendly, in particular focusing on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and if relevant to client’s market: Digg, and StumbleUpon

I’ve ‘gone-off’ places like Squidoo etc but I might consider an excerpt + unique intro (curation) on WordPress.com or Blogger.com if relevant – I would first find out what was needed by doing a competitive analysis to decide whether or not any of those sites are still sites to focus on. (There may still be some very highly relevant article directories for clients, but that is what I’d focus on – relevancy.)

Post-Panda, I’ve also ‘gone-off’ Animoto-like videos, instead, opting for video’s that are professionally created, quality videos that look commercial or at least “more personal”, more “real”.

That being said, I’ve gone a bit ‘off’ everything this past week and reconsidering what I want to focus on in my life in general, which may not be SEO anymore (at least not for clients) but who knows, maybe I’m just going through a mid-life crisis or just ‘burn-out’ :)

For ‘my’ current client’s (I have a lot of new startups this year, ‘local’ offline businesses), I have had to adjust my marketing techniques to focus on what is important to where ‘they’ are currently at – increasing content on their websites (& Facebook), review management, citations, and local biz directories, so I haven’t really had a chance to test my theories on what would work Post-Panda as above, just thinking out loud as to what I would probably focus on now.

What are your thoughts Post-Panda? Are you going to do less link-building and more quality content? Have you considered other methods? What do you think?

Featured Image from overstockhats.com

Penny (PennyButler.com)
Penny (PennyButler.com)

Who are we? What are we doing here? What is the meaning of life? Penny is a truth-seeker, ever-questioning, ever-learning, ever-researching, ever delving further and deeper down the rabbit hole. This site is a legacy of sorts, a place to collect thoughts, notes, book summaries, whilst providing a searchable archive to easily lookup and reference.

36 Comments

  1. Shaun Gold says:

    The name of the game is all about “looking” as natural as possible while being able to leverage automated backlinking methods.

  2. Lex McKnight says:

    Magic Submitter is what I use to get backlinks. If you have content that helps your target market, and you know how to leverage the software without spamming the hell out of things, this is the software to use even post-panda.

  3. Lisa Mills says:

    When it comes to Google’s algorithm it’s hard to know what exactly is going on and hard to keep up with all the changes.

  4. Grant Nigello says:

    The main thing you need to remember is that you can’t over optimize your site and you need to diversify your backlinks and anchor texts. Great post by the way.

  5. Lorene Burton says:

    Great blog right here! Also your web site loads up very fast! Link building still works, and it works REALLY well. But no longer can you just build links to your money sites and stop there thinking that your sites are going to instantly rank higher. Google is smarter than this. You have to diversify not only the anchor-text and backlink url but also to the websites you are sending them to!

  6. Janice Saavedra says:

    Santa, I mean Google knows whose been naughty and whose been nice :)

  7. Cecilia Ramsey says:

    Re: Panda, I read a blog post recently that said about Ad placement being one of the major panda changes. If you have your ads above the fold on your page you need to move them asap.

  8. Terry Harper says:

    I’ve been searching for SEO strategies post-panda and thank you for your post. I also hear from a lot of guru marketers that blog networks still work (getting hundreds of different C-block IP addresses with High PR linking back to your site can still give you a ranking without needing quality content).

  9. Bryan J says:

    Gone are the days of trying to get 1,000’s
    of backlinks, writing and spinning article
    after article in the hope of getting more traffic.

  10. Evan Murray says:

    SEO and Link Building strategies have completely changed after the arrival of Google Panda and Google Penguin Algorithm. Old SEO techniques and link building methods don’t work any more. No more spammy backlinks, article spinning, or duplicate content. It’s going to be a lot better to browse the web now, but harder to game the system if you have a website you want to rank higher.

  11. Chris Rigs says:

    lol, I agree with you and Mio – Animoto videos SUCK – the least powerful and least impressive video software I’ve ever had the dis-pleasure of using. You can’t even change the font let alone make it any more interesting than a basic slideshow with background music (which is crap also).

  12. Beatrice Holland says:

    Hi Penny, I am interested in learning all about SEO for my small business website. There seems to be so much to learn. How do you do it?

    1. Penny Butler says:

      Q.] How do I do it?
      A.] I waste my life away in front of a computer, instead of “having a life”..

  13. Judith Langlois says:

    Greetings from Idaho! Anyhow, awesome SEO advice! Do you think the SEO companies have changed their strategies since Panda/Penguin?

    1. Penny Butler says:

      No, they haven’t – at least none of the one’s I have contacted. I’ve contacted 4 and trialled 3 different SEO companies since Penguin and they ALL say they are “Google Penguin” friendly yet NONE of them have changed their packages since last year. (Except the few that I’ve seen who have now added a “pay per link REMOVAL” option!)
      But not one of the very popular and well-known SEO companies have provided a new and improved “Google Penguin” version of their SEO plans – they are doing exactly the same thing they were doing last year and someone needs to wake them up. (They lie directly to your face and directly to you via all their communications – they say “what you want to hear”)

  14. Marilynn says:

    Yeah totally agree with you there. It’s not just about backlinks anymore – or rather it is, but different types of backlinks and social proof.

  15. Albert Taylor says:

    This is exactly what I was looking for. It’s so hard these days to find up to date info on what we need to change (with people that actually know what they’re talking about). Thanks for the helpful advice!

    1. Penny Butler says:

      I’m just “thinking out loud” for the moment, but thanks for your comment.. I need to actually “implement” the things that I thought about to know whether it’s actually going to work the way that I think it will.. but I’m pretty sure it will do the trick :)

  16. Marko Gaertner says:

    I’m just glad you didn’t say ‘Guest Blog Posts’ like everyone else. Guest blogging is incredibly hard to do for local business owners – they either don’t want it at all or if they do, they don’t want you to promote yourself in it.
    Just thought I would say thanks for letting me know ‘where I can place the content’ post-Panda/Penguin so that we don’t have the duplicate content problem or the low-quality problem, etc. We’re developing alot of valuable, unique content, but other than our blog, I wasn’t sure how to promote the content to reach a bigger audience now that we can’t post them to article directories (other than Facebook & Twitter).
    I wanted to know “where” we post them now in order to get the best spread as well as link value. And your post has answered that even though it’s just you thinking out loud, you have already given me a heap of new ideas and tips on where we can publish the content in a less-than-spammy way.

    1. Penny Butler says:

      Oh yeah, and Guest Blogging! :)
      Actually I should really add that to the list, because not everyone is a local business owner – they are definitely effective, especially for relevant niches.

      And probably Wiki’s as well…

      Glad I sparked some new ideas for you :)

  17. Very good SEO Update, agree with everything.

  18. I use Scrapebox however I don’t use it to blast garbage or spam. I use Scrapebox to gather do-follow and auto-approve blogs. After creating the list, I then proceed with manual and relevant commenting.

  19. It all comes down to the type of the client you are dealing with. Dealing with clients with some knowledge in marketing helps as they realise the amount of work that goes into strategizing an SEO campaign. Clients who have got no idea, will need clear jargon free explanation from you to explain what goes behind a successful campaign. I get why you are thinking about not doing this kind of work for clients anymore. Most of them don’t want to know the whole process, or don’t want to pay for the whole process.

    1. Penny Butler says:

      Yep – I’ve never quite figured out how to just tell them a price and do the work, I have a big problem in having to explain every-little-thing that I do for them and the by-product of that is the “deer in headlights” look coupled with the “it’s too confusing” therefore not getting the sale.

      I’d much rather spend my time ranking the site and then charging “per lead”, because clients do understand “leads” rather than SEO.

  20. A decade ago I could get virtually any site onto page 1 of google with a few well-placed keywords, a few links and a bit of decent copy. But every year it gets harder as more and more competition comes online. Marketers have grown and businesses are coming online, and so now there is a lot more competition than ever before. I’ll do what I need to do to get my clients sites ranked – even if it means making podcasts, videos, or smartphone apps. I’ll do it. There’s no win in losing. My advice to everyone including myself is to roll up our sleeves and be prepared to slug it out.

    1. Penny Butler says:

      Should’ve put your link in your comment, I’m sure many people will be looking for someone willing to “slog it out” – but how do you explain it to your clients about all the things you do, without confusing the hell out of them? THAT is a skill I want to have.

  21. Lila Lunn says:

    Greate article. Keep writing such info. Im really impressed and I’m learning a lot about SEO.

  22. Barbara says:

    I’ve learnt several excellent tips on SEO here. Definitely bookmarking for revisiting. I’m surprised at how much effort you put in. You seem to know a lot about SEO. I think that you can do with a few pics/screenshots to drive the message home a bit, but aside from that, this is a fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

    1. Penny Butler says:

      Agree with you about the screenshots thing.. just need “time”.. and was just getting my thoughts out.. these things need to be tested to see if they actually work and then I’ll create a new blog post with the winning tactics :)

  23. Mandy says:

    Amazing info here. I am very glad to find your post today. Thanks so much and I am looking forward to reading more.

  24. Bruce Elva says:

    I think this is very significant info for me and my company to think about, cheers

  25. Finn Pullen says:

    What’s up, just wanted to say, I enjoyed this article and appreciate the seo tips I’ve learnt and how I can turn one piece of content into multiple pieces of useful content across many platforms – really inspiring. Keep on posting!

  26. Chernelle Lennon says:

    I’ve just browsed some of your blog posts and I believe this website is full of real instructive info about everything that is useful and relevant to me (or any kind of internet marketing person), from Facebook to SEO and internet graphics and WordPress: you cover it all, cool – subscribing and joining your skype group.

    1. Penny Butler says:

      Thansk Chernelle, haven’t yet received your skype group request.. you can signup here: http://pennybutler.com/webwooky/

  27. Mio Ristic says:

    Absolutely agree with you Penny:
    “Post-Panda, I’ve also ‘gone-off’ Animoto-like videos, instead, opting for video’s that are professionally created, quality videos that look commercial or at least “more personal”, more “real”.

    This is the right recipe.

    Why give up now, when you got it all figured out finally! Just spread the word!

    Your clients are sooner or later going to arrive to your point in the road and ask themselves: “Are we going to keep doing all this stuff that is easy or inexpensive and not get results, or we are going to start producing quality, engaging and relevant CONTENT!?”

    1. Penny Butler says:

      Hiya Mio, Replied to you on LinkedIn but thought I’d also copy it here as well in case you didn’t get it :)

      thanks for reading Mio .. it was a big one :) I dont think I “want” to do that for others anymore, its a lot of work.. I think I’d more enjoy doing it for myself, like I used to before I got this ‘idea’ to help others.. didnt realize its mostly about “sales”.. I like to get into the backend of things :)

      But an update from that thought has been to maybe build up the sites for clients first and then sell them the “leads” instead, that way – they don’t have to hear all the details about what I’m doing for them each month, they just pay for the “result”.. and I’m warming to the idea..

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