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27/06/2011 by

How CMO’s Can Survive A Google Panda Attack?

In stealth mode, Google has released its “killer” Panda. The Panda 2.2 Ranking Factor upgrade will certainly cause collateral damage to the organic search results of many brands. How can CMO´s survive this Panda attack?

Shortly I will explain in plain English, what Google Panda is. Next I will cover the possible impact on your website’s ranking in Google.

Last but not least, I will touch some possible changes that CMO´s should consider, regarding their long-term search and social media strategies…

You may have heard about the recent Google update code named: Panda. Your site may also have been affected positively or negatively because of the update.

There has been a lot of buzz swirling around about the recent ranking factor change (some might call it algorithm upgrade).

The Panda update was the first major change to Google’s “algorhitm” since 2009. Google says Panda was implemented to improve the overall quality of its results. Eliminating “spammy gibberish” sites from search results.

The target of the update was any lower quality site with shallow or superficial content. Article sites and other content farms were the hardest hit.

If you aggregate or duplicate content at your website, Panda might bite you as well.

Google Panda is a long list, which CMO’s should discuss with their Search and Social Media agency asap. I did a short break down that capture the essence of what the algorithm is intended to determine:

– Is your site’s content highly relevant and informative, or does it have less information than similar, competing websites?

– Is the content substantially unique/original, or does it use content that has been copied from or published elsewhere online?

– Is the site worth recommending and, if so, has it been recommended in the form of social bookmarking, mentions on social networks, blogs, directories and so on?

– Is the site trustworthy and/or an authority, or is it new to the web and/or not linked to as a credible resource from other related websites?

If you can answer “yes” to most of these questions, then your site has probably not been negatively impacted by Google’s new ranking change. If not, then it’s important to rethink your SEO and SMO strategy to adapt to this change.

CMO’s, how can you survive the Google Panda updates? My advice, plan an integrated meeting with your Search and Social Media agency very soon.

Ask them to explain you the impact in detail and allocate budget, so they can create you a new long-term search and social media strategy.

Next and last tip to CMO’s: Build your community.

In the digital industry we know that Google has missed out on several opportunities to tap into social search and the social media space. Just read some interviews with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

He was pretty clear on this in a recent interview:”I messed up on social and should accept responsibility for that”.

And it might seem to you that Google is trying to leverage social by launching Google +1. But is that really the groundbreaking and world shocking approach to turn the tide?

Google currently uses Twitter’s “fire hose” feed and some signals from public pages on Facebook to influence rankings, the former weighing much more heavily in substantial, but short-lived SEO boost.

CMO’s should dive deeper into Social Media and Social Media Optimization (SMO). Since one of the most important ways to influence SEO ranking comes from earned media, community members and loyal brand ambassadors that link to the websites of their favorite brands.

So that is what most CMO’s have forgotten about fans and followers: these loyal visitors are sharing links with their friends on twitter, facebook, social bookmarking sites and several mobile apps in which they share the coolest brands and apps.

If you invest time into delivering compelling content, great apps, a great community, your brand and business is not going to suffer from search algorithm updates such as Google Panda.

I know fear is a great driver to get things done. However, I sincerely hope that many of my former articles here on ViralBlog have already convinced some CMO’s that social media marketing, loyal clients, fans and communities should be part of your long-term brand strategy, way before the killer Panda escapes its cage.

What About You?
Please tell our readers your experiences in the comments below.

Sources: Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Land


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