Tuesday, October 9, 2012 – This month’s event focused on Google’s two biggest algorithm changes in the past two years: Panda and Penguin.

SEO expert Michael Cottam began by dissecting the Panda update, including the human quality raters, machine learning and Panda 1.0 algorithm tweak.  He then took us through some of the factors that define quality.  For example, pages need to include lots of content, original copy, and plenty of images, maps and videos.  Dwell time on site, low bounce rate and trust and authority signals are also key factors.

Michael provided a few tips “to make the fur ball chew for you”, such as including rich content, consolidating similar pages, minimizing ad real estate above the fold and using original images.  He suggests doing a reverse image change to find images that don’t appear elsewhere.

The evening ended with Amplify Interactive’s Ben Lloyd walking us through a Penguin case study.  He shared his Penguin toolkit which includes Penguin 1.0, Mozcast, Analytics, Open Site Explorer and Google Webmaster Tools.  Pie charts on data such as anchor text profile, inbound links per page and links by domain are invaluable in shedding light on where Penguin nailed you.

Ben closed by providing three recovery options when hit by Penguin.  First, delete any bad links you can.  Destroy 404 offending pages and move to a new domain.   Finally, dilute bad links by getting good links.  This last step involves creating a strong content marketing strategy.

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