I Got us Pandalized. Then We Got Out. Here’s How.

What Happened

The Google Panda algorithm was first deployed in February of 2011 and effected up to 12% of search results, most notably for us – our website. The algorithm targeted low quality websites with thin content, high ad to content ratios and other quality signals such as content farms. We got smoked by this algorithm and continued to get dinged each time a new version of Panda was released to the wild.

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I’ve read others say that once you get hit by Panda once, you somewhat flatten out and it doesn’t keep hurting you. My perspective on that is different. Our website continually got hit and each time it took a good portion of our traffic – anywhere from 5-20% of whatever the current level of traffic happened to be. Now, this was our own fault mind you. Some of it was because we were lackadaisical in changing our content from standard, un-unique, nearly duplicate content on nearly all of our city/state/zip code pages and some was because I was still pumping out guest blogs which were of the same, poor quality as our website content. I take full responsibility.

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My Humble Beginnings in SEO

I’m finally getting around to putting some actual content on the site. I’d like to start by giving some context into how I got into the SEO/Digital game.

My metaphorical long journey

College and the Move

We can trace it all the way back to right after my 4 year college stint ended , I was a 21 year old kid eager to get into the workforce, start my long career and prove to my parents I didn’t go to school simply to major in Crushing Beers. Being a marketing major, I figured I’d be starting out at the bottom of a company doing petty work for a while before earning my stripes and moving up the corporate ladder. It took me a couple months of sales jobs, low level marketing gigs, reflection, goal analyzing and thinking about my future before I decided I was going take the biggest risk of my life at the time – I was going to pack up all my shit and move from Chicago to Kansas City to live with my girlfriend. Ballsy.

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