Monday, July 18, 2011

Has SEO has changed forever? Meet Panda.

Image: Michael Elliott /

If you own a website, hopefully, at minimum, you've thought about SEO, or search engine optimization. With Google's latest search engine update called, Panda, the rules of SEO have changed. In my opinion as a designer, it's a change that brings a huge sigh of relief, because it more closely resembles the way I've been evaluating websites for years. But to the rest of you, it probably brings some anxiety and frustration because some of the things you thought you knew about SEO may have changed, leaving you even more uncertain how to get your website to the top of the list.

Fear not. Google's Panda release makes SEO less of a "game" to play and more of a true reflection of if your site is informative, easy to navigate, and all-around a good site that viewers want to visit and return for more.

One of the biggest things that Google has transformed over the last several years is the degradation of using keywords to determine a site's ranking. Yep, you heard me right - keywords. If you've been online for any length of time, you probably had it drilled into you that you needed to pick keywords and focus lots of attention choosing and analyzing the right keywords for your site. Well, take that mindset and flush it! A couple of years back, Google stopped using keywords in its algorithm and today they have little to no value in ranking your site. What's more important is what is in the title meta tag in the code of your site and to a lesser degree, the description tag.

And that's just the beginning. I'm going to save you hearing this twice and just direct you to this excellent video by Rand Fishkin, CEO & Co-Founder of the web's most popular SEO Software provider; SEOmoz. It's a very good explanation of the basic concepts that Panda employs and not too much techy-speak. Don't get overwhelmed by the little technical things he discusses, just listen to the big picture.


And after you watch, if you find yourself wondering if your website will survive its rankings with Panda, send an email to for more information on getting a site review, complete with a report outlining your strengths, areas of improvement, and a prioritized list of things to work on. Mention this article and receive a special discount!

Don't forget to sign up for our FREE newsletter for more information about design, marketing and running your own business as a woman entrepreneur.

Article written by Kelly Garrett: President & Chief Designer of Ekcetera, wife, mother, entrepreneur, web developer, techie, and everyday woman.

No comments: