Let’s imagine you’ve spent almost a year while creating your website and promoting it to achieve success in the Google SERP. But one day, you learned that all your efforts were useless since your organic traffic started to decrease. It’s time to figure out what happened to your web project. In fact, there are various reasons why you experience traffic drop.
- Some keywords are seasonal. As a result, your traffic might return next season;
- Your project has a technical issue;
- Some changes in the Google algorithm have affected your website.
So, if we are talking about the third case, you were unlucky to face with Google Panda, Penguin, Fred, or other penalties. Unlike numerous useless sources, I’ve created my blog to assist webmasters. Therefore, I first suggest you define what exactly happened to your project. To accomplish it, you should visit Barracuda Digital, to use their Panguin Tool. This instrument will assist you to detect which penalty has been applied to your website. All you need to do is to grant the offline access to your Google Analytics account. However, if you don’t have it, this tool is useless for you. But as a rule, most of the webmasters use GA. Thus, you have a chance at least to figure out which type of Google algorithm update has affected your web project.
This tool will show you a diagram with various labels on it. Depending on a date it could be:
- Structural update;
- Core algorithm update;
- Local update;
- Mobile update;
- Panda update;
- Penguin update;
- Fred update;
- Another unknown update.
You are lucky if you know thereby which update affected your website because now you know what to do. If you have been hit by Panda, you should dig deeper into the quality of your content. In the case of Penguin, you were punished because of unnatural backlinks. Otherwise, Google has penalized you due to thin content, if we are talking about Fred. But if the date of decreasing in your traffic doesn’t fit any of the labels described above, you’ve faced the worst scenario.
How To Avoid Google Panda?
Google Panda is the oldest algorithm updated launched by Google back in 2011. This filter affects low-quality websites (in Google’s opinion). But as a rule, Google Panda punishes the webmasters who have borrowed someone’s content. But if you didn’t, I suggest you check this thread on webmasterworld.com. If you see that the community is concerned about the possible update, most likely they might hint you the reason for punishment.
By the way, if you’re not a native speaker like I am, you should be doubly vigilant about Google Panda. If you don’t possess enough level of language, you are in a risk group. English is a native language for Google. Therefore, the search engine is more oriented to this language.
Another reason to be penalized by Google Panda is your lack of experience. For example, Google doesn’t regard your content useful if your blog post contains less than 350-400 words. I recommend you writing such articles which include more than 500 words (not symbols). The best way to prosper in Google is to produce content which contains at least 700-1000 words, with images, and illustrations, graphs, and diagrams, as well as video. Otherwise, you may say hello to Google Fred, the algorithm which punishes your web pages for thin content.
However, if English is your mother tongue, it doesn’t protect you against the Google Panda penalty. On the contrary, you know your language much better than other non-native speakers, and me. Bear in mind; Google is capable of separating American English, British English, Hindu English, European-style English and many different variations of the language. I suggest you use “hreflang” tag to help Google to realize which style of writing are you prefer.
Even if you write your blog posts in German, French, or Chinese, you should be accurate, what relates to your grammar. Google knows the morphology of all the languages in the world. Therefore, don’t try to use Google translate to achieve your goal. However, it’s worth noting that, officially, Google refuses any claims that the search engine looks at your grammar while evaluating your website. However, if you take a look at the TOP 10 of your favorite search query, you discover the professionally written articles.
Summing up, follow the rules described below to avoid Google Panda:
- Read Google Guidelines for quality content first;
- Write your articles with accuracy and pay your attention to grammar; there are numerous grammar checking tools to avoid gross mistakes in your texts;
- Your blog post must contain at least 500-700 words, ideally, more than 1000 words; in addition, it helps you avoid another filter, Google Fred;
- Link to reliable sources, to prove that your content is not a result of your sick imagination; if someone authoritative thinks like you, this might show your visitors (and Google) that your opinion is similar those of prominent personality or is fitting some reliable source;
- If you weren’t able to avoid Google Panda or another filter, I suggest you use Panguin Tool to compare the dates;
- Ask the community; perhaps you’re not the only who was hit by Panda;
- You should be ready that it takes a lot of time to restore your positions in the Google SERP.
- Finally, sometimes the problem is not on your side. If you didn’t find any solution to get rid of Google Panda, please do the following. Pick a paragraph of text consisting of two or three strings and paste it into Google’s search string. If you discover that someone’s website is in the 1st place in the SERP, it’s an alarm. An unfair webmaster has stolen your article. In that case, you should immediately write a DMCA complaint. Otherwise, you could lose your entire website. I’ll write a blog post on the subject and leave the link here.
How To Avoid Google Penguin?
When we are talking about Google Panda, everything depends on you and your employee, who write the content, excepting the case above. Unfortunately, the most issues on your way relate to Google Penguin, the algorithm which punishes you for bad backlinks. As a rule, almost all the dark SEO technics in one way or another are related to backlinks. Therefore, there are numerous situations when you could find yourself in a risk group. Let’s take a look at the most common of them.
- If you purchased backlinks at least one time, you’d be penalized by Penguin in any case; I suggest you thereby don’t use such SEO practice;
- If you have never acquired backlinks, you might be hit by Google Penguin in spite of this;
- If you’re not guilty, try to use the Google Disavow Tool; maybe it will help you though I doubt;
- Use AHrefs to define the most noticeable ups and downs of your backlink profile; if you don’t know what AHrefs is, read this article (will be available in the future);
- Use SemRUSH to track down when your organic traffic started to drop; you may also use Panguin Tool as we have described above instead;
- Open your GWT since this instrument collects much more backlinks than AHrefs and SemRUSH;
- The worst scenario, if someone has mirrored your website.
The last case is the most complicated among all the rest since, as a rule, a villain is aware of how to hide his ass. But like in the case of Google Panda you need first to write a DMCA complaint. Next, you should try to contact the webmaster. Of course, he won’t answer your emails. Therefore, you will have to define the IP address of a clone and contact both domain registrar and hosting provider of this guy.
In the case, if you purchased the backlinks, the responsibility is on your side. I don’t know what to recommend you. The only way is to move to another domain. All your attempts to use the disavow tool would finish without a result.
How To Avoid Google Fred?
Google Fred is a term which combines a series of unknown Google Search updates which first appeared in March 2017. However, in fact, many webmasters including me had been experiencing the aftermath of this update back in December 2016. However, this update might be related to another filter called “Fake News.” I don’t want to express my feelings about politics. Therefore, I’d like to relate this filter to Google Fred (also called “Phantom“).
This penalty is tricky and sophisticated. In fact, no one knows a real reason for punishing the websites which experienced the results of this update. As I see the situation, Google has changed its attitude to content completely. Now Google thinks that your content is “thin,” but only those who created the search engine know what do they mean by this term. In my opinion, this update is mostly related to the origin of your content. In other words, why the Googlebot should consider your content reliable for the search query? Those webmasters who have suffered from Google Fred were the owners of websites in medicine, for instance.
Some of you know that there is the so-called YMYL filter, which means “Your Money or Your Life.” I suppose that Google Fred and YMYL have the same roots. So, if you’re creating your project in the niche which may affect someone’s life or health, you should be careful about this Phantom penalty. At the moment, none was able to cope with this filter from Google.
You must be careful in the new era of Google. Previously, Google was rolling out one or two algorithm updates per year. Currently, Google updates its principles of indexing numerous times a month. Thus, if one of these updates have hit you, follow my instruction first. Maybe your situation is not dangerous, and you just need to eliminate the wrong factors. I hope this article was useful for you as for a beginner. However, if you’re an experienced SEO specialist and you know more than I am about Google Fred/Phantom, feel free to leave a comment below.
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