Google Panda Updates in the Wild: Erratic Traffic

Google gave official word that it updated the Panda Algorithm last week. I noticed a hit to my traffic and search impressions. This comes after algorithm updates in February and May. What can we learn from these large and small algorithm updates? Even if you follow the rules you might get hit by shrapnel.

This Panda 2.2 update is supposed to improve one of the original goals of the Panda algorithm – make sites with original content rank higher than the imposters and scrapers. I don’t have scraped content on my site, but it seems it doesn’t matter – I was hit anyway. After I outlined a post describing how my blog ranked higher after Google Panda, my traffic increased. Now, my traffic died down a bit… almost by half but it’s creeping back up again. Of course it’s silly to rely only on Google search traffic, and I don’t, but many businesses do. Be prepared.

Search Traffic After Google Panda 2.2 Update

Here’s a Google Webmaster Tools chart of my search volume after the Panda 2.2 update:

Google Panda 2.2 Search Traffic ChartHopefully this will right itself. Many webmasters note corrections after algorithm updates and their traffic returns. This has gone on for years now. Even if you’re right, you can be wrong. But it’s still an important lesson to learn.

Keep Up with your Web Stats

Contrary to many advice sites that say not to track your Web stats daily or often, you can clearly see keeping up with what’s going on with your site IS important. What if you were selling Books online and had $600/day in income? If you didn’t pay attention to your stats you would have lost $2100/ week if you didn’t figure out what was going on and how to fix it.

Save Time Checking Web Stats with Bookmark Folders and Dashboards

I’ll share a tip with you that has helped me keep up with all my Web stats: I created bookmarks to my custom Google Analytics dashboard, Feedburner Weekly Stats page, and Google Webmaster Tools dashboard and combined them into a folder in my Safari Bookmarks Bar. With one click they all open to the right place. No hunting around for right information. Custom dashboards in Google Analytics are very powerful and great time savers. Use them.

The changes I made to my site that I mentioned in Google Knocked Me Down – How I Fattened Content and Won still are working for me in the bigger picture and I continue to gain subscribers.

Update Your Content on the Go with a WordPress Mobile App

One of the best ways to increase search traffic, I’ve found, is to add and refresh existing content to make it deeper. But we aren’t always connected to a computer all the time. If you have a WordPress blog you can download a mobile app to update all your posts and even add new ones. This is handy if you’re waiting in line somewhere or have a stroke of genius when you’re walking somewhere. Check out WordPress for iOS. It works on iPad too.

Have you noticed a change in your traffic? Found anything odd or have tips? Please comment.

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