It’s day two of the Blog World & New Media Expo in Los Angeles and our live blogging continues! Today we attended a session lead by Shane Ketterman (follow him on Twitter, @ShaneKetterman) about Google Panda and Google page rankings.
Who doesn’t want to be on the first page of Google results? Many writers feel their online content is expert, well researched, and highly useful. As such, Google should recognize that. Shane went into careful detail and described a multitude of elements that affect your site’s ranking. We bring you the five major take aways.
1. Focus Your Site Design Around The Content
Google prefers sites with designs that focus on the content. Put your content above the page break. Don’t go heavy on the advertising. Have easy navigation, a site map and a site that loads quickly. Make sure your RSS works, you encourage comments and sharing, and don’t over do it on the links.
2. Encourage User Engagement
Are readers liking, commenting and sharing your posts? Sharing content across social networks also helps your page ranking. Content shared on Google+ is also immediately indexed by Google and can increase your page ranking.
3. Write Passionately
Shane talked about a concept he called “human metrics”, which is the passion behind the content. Some SEO specialists have determined that posts that display strong passion, emotion and authenticity rank higher in Google.
4. Be Thoughtful About SEO
It can’t be denied, strategic SEO will rank your website and content higher. However, don’t over do it. In the words of Shane, “Google can smell a rat.” Don’t go link and key word crazy, just be thoughtful.
5. Watch For Scrapers
Have you ever written a post and when you search for it in Google, sites that have re-posted your exact content appear higher in the rankings? After you stop shaking your fist at the computer, do two things: first, file a DMCA complaint, proving you wrote the original piece. Second, install the PubSubHubbub plugin which puts a time stamp, down to the second, on your post, indicating to Google that your post came first.
Other questions about Google Panda? Tweet Shane, @ShaneKetterman.