If you’ve seen your traffic suddenly slow down and your web ranking drop over the last few weeks, it could because Google recently launched its latest set of algorithm updates. Penguin 3.0 went live on October 17, laying waste to a full 1% of all websites, particularly those found guilty of using unethical means of building backlinks across the web.

What is more likely to give you trouble, as the SEO experts with Business 2 Business Network highlight, is Panda 4.1. For the last couple of years, SEO services have been trying to tell their clients that “content is king.” With this latest iteration of Panda, Google is putting a lot of weight behind that claim. More specifically, Panda targets low quality content that, instead of providing value to web users, is only used as a platform for building backlinks. Duplicate content, content generated by a machine, or other content that is mechanically produced in massive amounts is likewise under the gun.

Panda 4.1 isn’t a Death Sentence
If you’re experiencing those sudden slow downs we mentioned at the top of the article, chances are Panda found something it didn’t like in your content style or link-building strategies. It’s important to keep in mind that this is only a temporary set back. If your search engine optimization strategies are what got you into trouble, making a few sensible adjustments that fall more in line with Google’s SEO guidelines will help you avoid any other run-ins with Panda in the future, not to mention the other animal-themed police Google keeps in its menagerie.

Simple Ways to Panda-Proof Your General and Local SEO

    • Recommit Yourself to the Golden Rules of Local SEO Strategies


      , avoiding the Panda’s claws can be as simple as going back to basics. Remember, Google’s Matt Cutts has been saying for ages that Google doesn’t want to see content that is produced purely for the sake of marketing, and the same goes for building backlinks. That means you need to focus instead on producing content that is useful for your consumers. It doesn’t take a team of local SEO experts to figure this one out: produce high quality content, optimize each of your pages with your name, address, and phone information, and streamline your website experience. All three of those things offer a service to web surfers, and subsequently, they won’t risk Panda’s ire.
    • Start Managing Your Backlinks
      It used to be that building backlinks was the key to effective general and local SEO. As Adam Stetzer writes for

Search Engine Land

      , backlinks remain incredibly important, but they now carry a double edge. Competing businesses now list links to rivals’ sites on spam pages. A link being spammed in a comment section can actually hurt your ranking. For every beneficial link you build, there is the chance of building one that could kill your traffic. That’s why you need to police your links more carefully. Using Google’s disavow tool, you can ensure that any low quality links stop leading back to your page and ruining all of your hard work.

Did you see any negative effects following the release of Panda 4.1? How is your company dealing with the latest algorithm updates from Google? Share your stories with us in the comments below.