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Post Panda: Affiliates Guide to Surviving Google (a4uexpo Live Blogging)

A4U Expo Live Blogging: Post Panda: Affiliates Guide to Surviving Google w/ Daniel Bianchini & Kevin Gibbons of SEOptimise

A session about Google’s algorithm update known as Panda.

Timeline

Hit in February this year and since then there have been five updates. The latest is 2.5 and hit 12% of sites. Daniel asks whether this is the last update. He believes that this is not and quotes Matt Cutts. He thinks we should prepare for more updates and moves to what Google suggests to avoid a Panda slap.

Google Recommendations

It is crucial that you improve the qyaity of your content and evaluating whether it is providing value. Look at metrics such as page views, bounce rates. If these are not performing well then it suggests the content is not of good quality. You should review your metrics in Google Analytics and check whether your content is upto date. Any old content should be 301′d to relevent new pages.

Quality of Content

Is it factual, does it provide the end user with any value? Google provides guidelines on what makes good quality content. It provides a series of questions and you should answer these truthfully. We often have a bias to these so its worth putting these questions out in a survey to other people. 200 word pages = think content. Its probably not going to provide the end user wiht enough information. You should review your site for pages with small amounts of content on them.

How do you make great Content?

Daniel asks what are people are talking about and what social stuff is currently being shared. This can provide inspiration. Addict-o-matic is a tool that can help with this. It allows you to enter a phase or keyword and brings back results from a range of sources and lets you see what people are talking about in your niche right now. Ubersuggest or Google Suggest is another tool you can use. You can also look at last years data as trends often reoccur. Q&A platforms can also be useful. These include Yahoo Answers and Quora. Social media platforms could also be used to find ideas. Other ideas include attending events.

Now What? What’s Next?

Duplicate content is becoming an increasing problem, especially with the recent update. Use Webmaster Tools to make checks along with searches in Google. See if others are copying your content. Daniel also suggests that you reduce the amount of syndicated content. Lots of people are using product feeds for example. Why would your site rank well if you have the same product feed as hundreds of other sites. Why not rewrite these using services such as Copify.

Page layout and design maybe becoming more influential. If your site is over ten years old then it is going to need an update. You need to make sure that your adsense units are not in the content. Many sites do this including big article sites.

Look into social link building with your content. Make it easy for people to share your content. Google is looking at this more and more and iss relatively easy to do.

Example

Hubpages was hit heavily by the Panda update. Most companies would have folded however Hubpages decided to adjust its strategy. It reduced the level of syndicated content and advertising and moved thin content pages. The updates they made helped to drive more traffic than they were achieving even before they were hit by the Panda update. A massive recovery and showed that Panda could be defeated.

Takeaways

- Remove low quality content

- Create high quality content

- Deep page link building

 

** Daniel closes and Kevin Gibbons takes to the stage **

 

Kevin’s presentation focuses on part time affiliate marketing and how to maximise your working week. This is based on the 4 hour work week.

Looking Genuine

Establishing credibility is key and the aim is to make yourself look like a real business. To do this you should try to include contact details and phone numbers on your site. This is difficult however as many affiliates like to keep a low profile. A team profile page could also be a good strategy. This makes you look like a real business.

An affiliate has to build natural looking links. This takes a lot of time which often affiliates don’t have. A blog can also be a trust signal. Try to talk about things of interest and your company. You should focus on these things as they don’t take too much time.

How to make your affiliate site to look like a business site?

- be creative

- maybe hire a PR specialist

- pitch to journalists, journalisted lists contacts in the field for which you can contact

- Use Haro and become a source. Journalists can then quote you for any stories they maybe running

- Learn SEO so that you can support your outsourced team and understand what they are working on

- Create a content strategy to target top converting terms. Focus on these

- With limited time you don’t want to be writing hundred of articles, posts or press releases. Outsource using Copify

- Remove duplicate and low quality content. If you aren’t recieving any visits for them then maybe redirect these

- Build and manage your online reputation. Create social profiles and conversations

- Trust factors are key. Try to gain certificates, add logos etc

- Register a limited company. Costs £18 and can help to build trust

- Get a virtual office address.

 

Tactics

- Guest blog. This gives you a link and helps to build your brand. MyBlogGuest is a good place to start

- Participate in forum and blogs. Its not about links at this point but more getting noticed

- Hire a professional designer. 99 Designs is a great place for cheap design work and they look great. People more likely to link to good looking sites

- Hire a professional developer. Designers and developers have very different skill sets

- Scale your activities. Potentially use oDesk to hire a team

- Hire an infographic designer. These have to be good as the market place is over crowded

These activies will cost about £480 a month depending on which activities you do. This is relatively cheap considering the potential rewards.

 

** Floor opens to questions **

 

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