The SEO world braced itself once again this past month as the latest Google Panda update was released. As usual the speculation was scarier than the result. According to Matt Cutts at Google – it looks as though the update was primarily focused at Spammy links that are directed towards Pay-day Loan and Porn sites.

Phew. Dodged another bullet.

Of course Panda updates have been scarier since the first one hit in 2011. Panda 1.0 did manage to affect 12% of all search results. And since Panda 1.0 hit, we’ve seen at least 20 more Panda updates come in the last two years.

That’s enough Pandas to start a zoo.

Unless you are running a sketchy pay-day loan website, you probably fared OK this time around. But what trouble has Panda caused you in the past two years? And what about the Penguin updates? Here is a quick hit-list to keep you your website free from zoo animals:

  • Content quality is key. If your site has thin content that is poorly written you could see a SERP (Search Engine Results Page) hit. The good news is this update affects content mills which tend to be of poor quality and compete with you.
  • Content relevancy. Sites with relevant content about current topics score well. This is why blogs are helpful as they force you to post consistent articles that keep your website fresh.
  • Link farms. Worked in the past, not anymore. Keep your internal and external linking strategies honest and Google will reward you for it.
  • Display ads, display ads and more display ads. Have a site with more display ads than valuable content? Time to take an inventory.
  • Keyword stuffing. Google is smart, and as people abuse tactics, they react. Keyword density is still important but keep it logical and to about 5-8 times per 500 words and 2 times in meta descriptions.
  • Get social. Still on the fence about social media ROI? Well Google figures that a site that produces and promotes quality content on social networks is legit, and they take notice. Plus social pages rank on Google, giving your business more SERP exposure.

In summary – if you are looking to beat the Panda blues this summer – a solid content marketing strategy is the best medicine. Technical SEO is important, but content will lead your business down the yellow brick road of SEO success.

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