Marshall Simmonds of Define has some great tips for how to approach SEO in the post-Panda world. Here’s a liveblog of his talk:

“More has happened in the last two years since search began”

Panda presented opportunity:
1. What is the opportunity?
2. What is my agenda and how do I push it

What is Google looking for and what are our assets to deliver the results?

The Freshness Update
When the freshness update rolled out about 25% of the results were recently updated, but now it’s more like 45%.

– Pay attention to lastmod in XML sitemap
– Blog often
– RSS feed
– Time stamp
– +1 is probably a strong signal
– Watch timely queries – things people are searching for

Panda provided an opportunity for:
– New SEO audits:
– Reduce/move ad blocks
– Consider noindexing or removing poorly performing pages
– Syndicated Content?
– Page speed
– Clear up duplication with
– Outbound links
– Sitemaps

Search engines are distracted and even confused. If you are not using XML sitemaps you are missing a valuable means of communicating with Google. Now he shows a slide that shows dramatic increase in traffic via XML sitemap implementation.

If you have video as an asset, you should be figuring out how to get good rankings in YouTube because YouTube is the best way into Google Universal results.

Google News Standout Tag:
7 Times/week you get to tell Google News what should be the most important article of the day
– The tag should be placed in the head section of the source code on the page
– You can use it to point at other news outlets that link back to you creating a link network

– Confusing to implement
– It’s inconsistent
– It’s buggy
– It makes a huge different in traffic – 400% increases seen

GWT Internal Links Report:
Figure out which URLs have the most and least internal links and figure out how to get the right content better exposed.

Top Pages Tab on OpenSiteExplorer:
We monitor this report to make sure our top pages are not timing out.
Lot’s of great reference material to help earn buy-in from other stakeholders.

Google moving the goal-posts = job security. 🙂

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