Recently we had a client that came to use asking for some assistance after their website was hit with a recent Panda or Penguin update. I will be documenting some of the work we will be doing to achieve these results. The client which runs a Chicago STD Testing service had many geographical based websites and some were hit by the recent update. Best practice for sites that serve multiple geographic areas is to create one website with all relevant information and sub pages for each geographic location you are serving. If you currently use multiple websites to tackle multiple geographic areas I would start working on a fix as they won’t work forever. However if you do have websites that meet that criteria, the following tips will help you.
1. Don’t have duplicate content.
Just like Google Webmaster tools tells you, Don’t have duplicate content! Since Google’s Panda update many sites were affected that had duplicate content and several of them were even de-indexed to the point where they need to request re-inclusion. Although there is no set standard on unique content it must be “different enough” to past their quality guidelines. If you are always writing to the user in a specific geographic area you can help avoid this. If you want to learn more about duplicate content check out this SEOMOZ post.
2. Try to stay way from hyphens in your root domain.
I know, I know. This can be easier said than done especially considering how many domains are now taken. That being said, it’s still not best practice to do so. Please avoid it when possible.
3. Have good links.
Getting high quality links from organizations you sponsors, events you host, or schools you support can be very valuable. Make sure your link profile is not machine generated (AKA: Not all of the same anchor text) and ensure that are not buying links.
4. Remove bad links.
If your links are coming from bad and de-indexed directories, etc., you must remove them. Unfortunatley some banned link directories have shown their true black hat methods and are now trying to CHARGE to remove their links. This is so shady I don’t have any words for it.
The post Panda and Post Penguin world is a tricky one. If you need consulting services from an Ethical SEO Company then feel free to contact me or leave a comment.
Update: You can also try new domains. For example, optimizing a new domain such as STD Testing In Chicago might go a long way.