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Google Panda: opportunities and appeals

Last month I had the opportunity to present to participants of SPEED West Midlands and provide a quick introduction to search engine optimisation.

The slides are available on this post about Prezi.com & Smarter SEO. Amongst other topics, I touched upon Google Panda – the latest revision to the Google search algorithm which went live in the UK on Monday 11th April.

Google Panda: an opportunity for the Smarter Card?

A number of websites have been substantial drops in traffic following the Panda update (check out Google Panda losers for a list) and many of these are in the money off / discount code / voucher code / cash back industry.

Any update to the Google search algorythm is a ‘zero sum’ game. Offsetting the losers, a number of websites have seen huge increases in traffic and here are ten examples:

ebay.co.uk (+42.06 percent)
techcrunch.com (+40.72 percent)
national-lottery.co.uk (+39.50 percent)
econsultancy.com (+37.09 percent)
thisismoney.co.uk (+30.13 percent)
siteslike.com (+25.37 percent)
mirror.co.uk (+24.87 percent)
blogspot.com (+22.80 percent)
mashable.com (+22.61 percent)
itv.com (+22.38 percent)

This is of particular interest to me as some of the biggest losers in the Panda update are in direct competition with the Smarter Card, which is being relaunched in September. I will be a very happy Panda if I can snare some of the traffic lost by (huge) sites such as myvouchercodes.com and voucherstar.co.uk.

Google Panda: an appeal process

If you think you were unfairly punished by the Google Panda update, all is not lost. Through a form on Google Webmaster Tools, you can ask Google to reconsider your website using a simple form:

Tell us more about what happened: what actions might have led to any penalties and what corrective actions have been taken. If you used a search engine optimisation (SEO) company, please note that: Describing the SEO firm and their actions is a helpful indication of good faith that may assist in the evaluation of reconsideration requests. If you recently acquired this domain and think that it may have violated the guidelines before you owned it, inform us about it below. In general, sites that directly profit from traffic (e.g. search engine optimisers, affiliate programmes, etc.) may need to provide more evidence of good faith before a site will be reconsidered.

There is no guarantee your rank will be reinstated but it’s certainly worth a try!

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