Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Google's Panda and the Keyword Confusion


by Alyssa Ast

Even though Google's new Panda platform has been in place for a while now, there's still a lot of confusion surrounding the changes and new requirements. Recently, I was asked if the new Panda platform changed how keywords are used? In short, no. Well, basically no if you're already optimizing content correctly. However, if your optimization skills aren't too sharp you'll need to refine them the ensure you achieve a high SERP ranking.

Panda and Keyword Use
Because the Panda changes enforce the quality of content, it's essential proper optimization is used. This means your content will be indexed lower if you keyword stuff, which means you want to be sure your using the correct keyword density. Plus, they are now looking at URL's and how Meta descriptions are used more so than they were, so those areas need to be correctly optimized as well. So really, the new platform shouldn't change the way you're using your keywords as long as your optimizing correctly.

Panda and SEM
This biggest area I see where change might occur is if you use search engine marketing (SEM). One area that's now being enforced more than ever is how and where you use links. The number and types of links you use now plays a large role when Google indexes content and websites. Google is looking at how relevant inbound, outbound and internal links are. This means you need to make sure the links you use are authoritative and relevant. Don't overdue it with the links either. General rule of thumb is, for every 400 words you should have 2-3 links. The links should be correctly used as an anchor link, preferably to a relevant keyword/phrase that accurately describes where the link is directing a reader.

So to cut the keyword confusion, chances are you don't need to change anything with the new Panda platform if you're already optimizing correctly. If you aren't sure how well you're doing, don't forget I offer a free SEO review service.