On January 22nd 2013, Google released the 24th update of its Google Panda release with yet another 1.2% of English search queries affected. Maybe you were one of the 1.2% affected and are unsure why you got hit by the Panda.
One of the biggest tips I can give you when developing content for your website is to avoid “thin-content” webpages. An area that suffers from this badly are e-commerce category pages with just images on them such as the example below
It may look visually appealing to the website visitor but what is this webpage really telling Google about the type of webpage it is? This website won’t have high rankings so will not get any new customers coming from the search engines.
- Google is looking for signals from the page in order to rank it correctly
- Where is the introduction text about handbags?
- What makes your handbags unique?
- Why should we purchase your handbags?
There is a “trick” you can use to view your webpage as Google views it because Google views it in a totally different way than a human. Google doesn’t care about aesthetics or how visually appealing the website is. If you want to view your webpage in Google’s eyes simple head over to Google and type in the following :-
“cache:http://www.yourwebsite.co.uk/yourwebpage.html” - without the speech marks surrounding it and replace the URL with your own.
Then click text-only version in the top right area.
You then get to see how Google REALLY views your webpage. Let’s look at our handbags page through Google’s eyes.
Hooray! It does feature a H1 tag for Handbags but that’s about it. There is no unique content or copy about handbags. Google view’s this as “thin-content”.
What the owner of this website could do is pad out the page. Add an introduction on handbags which feature variants of the word handbags such as “leather handbags” or “chic handbags”. This sends Google a signal as to what they want to rank for. Couple this with the right H1, H2, H3 tags, ALT tags on all the images, a keyword rich <title> tag, correct URL structure and link structure and this page will start improving its ranking position within weeks.
Eliminate Thin Content pages
Any page on your website which doesn’t have 500+ words of unique keyword-rich copy about the page/product it is about needs a serious overhaul. You need to start sending Google the signals it needs to rank you correctly, pad out your pages with keyword-rich content and you are halfway there.
Google will continue to downgrade the ranking of websites which don’t have unique content and it really doesn’t take that long to add content to your pages and the rewards are high rankings, more website visitors which you can turn into leads or customers straight away.
Over the next few weeks I will be posting on how to increase “trust” from your visitors by implementing things such as user reviews, correct product images & videos plus many more tips.
You need to make sure you “sell” your webpage to the visitor straight away because they don’t have a high attention span! If you don’t convince your customers to order from you, you can bet your competitor will.