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I was blown away by the engagement that took place during our recent webinar “Go Beyond Google Panda: Stop Reacting & Start Doing”.

There’s no denying Google Panda 4.0 has had major implications on SEO, and this gave us the opportunity to do a live demonstration on the future of search.

Needless to say, we received a host of questions and comments based around this topic. To help you walk away with a clearer picture of where search is headed after Google Panda 4.0, here are the 5 main takeaways from our webinar.

1. How to Prepare for Conversational Search

During the webinar, we referred to Google Expert Matt Cutts demonstration at SMX to fully demonstrate the power of conversational search. To recap, he proceeded to ask the following questions live on his smartphone.

1. Where is the space needle?
2. How tall is it?
3. When was it built?
4. Where can I eat around there?
5. How about Italian?

But what if your website isn’t geo-targeted for conversational search like the above example?

The best way to prepare for this is to take a step back and think about how someone would land on your website using voice search. Doing so will allow you to figure out the exact questions you need to answer so you can plan your content accordingly.

You also need to ensure your brand is visible beyond your website in industry related resources.

2. The Indirect Impact of Panda 4.0

Let’s say my site wasn’t impacted by Google Panda 4.0, but sites linking to me across the web were. What would be the affect? It’s hard to say definitively that if someone under penalty is linking to you it will harm your website. However, one thing we do know is that it definitely can’t help.

Your main concern should be continuing to ensure your brand is focused on acquiring legitimate links. So in this scenario, if the link from the penalized site was done in a spammy nature, then I would be apprehensive and look to remove it from my set of backlinks. However, if it the link is legitimate and editorial in nature, then I would not immediately jump to have it removed. Rather, I would take the time to consider its organic value.

3. The Mobile Impact of Panda 4.0

So far, there have been no signals that non-mobile friendly websites were directly impacted by Panda 4.0. However, there may be other algorithm changes taking place that could affect mobile search traffic.

There are also reports from the SEO community that Google is looking at how CSS and Javascript are served as a ranking factor. In my opinion, this is a clear signal that mobile friendliness could be a ranking factor in the future.

4. Off-page Optimization After Panda 4.0

This question may be referring to Penguin…


All joking and bad Batman references aside…regardless of the algorithm update taking place, the best “Off Page Optimization” you can use is organic and provides value to the end user. I would strongly advise against focusing on using “tactics” and instead focus on making your brand’s digital presence as strong and organic as possible’

5. The Relevancy of Keyword Ranking Reports

With regards to conversational search and Google Panda 4.0, I would say keyword ranking reports are not as relevant. To gauge their true relevancy, I would look at page level performance as well as the content and presentation of the page using bounce rate as a metric.

I want to take a moment again and thank everyone who attended our webinar. To help prepare your website for the future of SEO & augment your brand through mobile search, we are offering a customized “Future of Search Analysis”. Get your free Future of Search report now.