Site owners still struggling with Panda
Website owners are continuing to struggle with Google's recent algorithm changes.
A straw poll on Search Engine Roundtable, an SEO blog, found less than four per cent of site owners had fully recovered from rankings lost as a result of the so-called Panda update.
While it's a relatively small sample at the moment (full results are yet to be published), the poll illustrates the lasting impact that some sites have felt since the series of Google updates started rolling out in February.
There is obviously a long list of reasons why a site might have been pushed down the rankings post-Panda and not yet recovered.
Sites with low quality content, high levels of syndication and spammy on-site advertising were specifically targeted by Panda, so it's likely that big changes and a fair amount of waiting will be required before these sites see their rankings return.
There are plenty of site owners in Google's Webmaster forum who claim to have been following Google's guidelines, but have lost rankings regardless. But who knows what specific elements of the update affected and continue to affect each of these individual sites.
Google has come in for lots of criticism over Panda from "torched" webmasters and bloggers. While further tweaks are planned, there have been no signs of back-tracking and Matt Cutts, the search engine's chief spam-hunter, reiterated recently that there had been no manual exceptions.
If you run an e-commerce site that relies on Google for its traffic, then you might not be around long enough to see your site recover.
There are no quick fixes when it comes to natural search. Ranking for your target keywords requires investment in time and some decent quality content. Making those investments will not only help you rank well, but will also help you diversify your sources of traffic.
Decent content on your site, produced as part of an ongoing content strategy, attracts natural links that can send you qualified visitors; promotes conversion opportunities once visitors are on your site; gives you something to share in social media; and improves the overall user experience.