The Three Best Types of Post-Penguin Pages
After Google Penguin was released in waves, each wave brought a new level of heightened panic to internet webmasters. The ones whose sites had been punished by the update were frantic to regain rankings, while those who had been boosted were ecstatic and wondered how to keep these rankings.
One thing is certain from Google's press about Penguin and unofficial statements: they are moving towards promoting high-engagement, highly-targeted websites that offer specific answers to user queries. After all, a search engine wants to quickly deliver results so people don't have to click through many results.
Here are three of the best types of pages to have on your websites, post-Penguin updates.
1. Pages with lots of content.
Thin informational sites often suffer from Google updates, as Google has expressed a desire to eliminate “spammy” pages that are ad-centered and offer limited information. If you want to stay on Google's good side, think about filling your page up with more content than you had before.
For instance, a page with just one 100-word article could be replaced with a 300-word blog post, a 500-word article, or even a 1,000-word review. The increased content will probably retain your visitor for longer so Google sees more interest and higher engagement, and if you give them something to comment on or interact with, this will be noticed, too.
2. Highly-targeted pages.
If your readers have a very targeted search query (for instance, where to find one specific hairdryer model or how to cook a specific vegetable), make sure your answer is just as targeted. Your page should contain the solution for your reader. Google may just start to notice if people click away from your site and go to other pages to find a better answer.
This means that longer pages aren't always better. Experiment in the rankings, waiting for updates to the index to see how well they work, and continue doing what works. You may find that longer content is better for some types of pages (such as reviews), but not if it impacts the quality of the information you offer.
3. Image-rich and interaction-heavy pages.
While this doesn't mean you should slow down your page with too many graphics and cheap design, a beautifully-designed site with lots of interaction – Facebook comment integration, forms, calculators, and more – can offer not just aesthetic appeal, but practical tools.
Your pages should have images on them with alt tags for those who have screenreaders, and they should be well-designed. Increase user engagement by thinking of unique and creative ways to interact with them – more than simply asking for comments.
It's impossible to predict if even these types of pages will increase your search engine ranking position, since we can't tell what direction Google is heading with these SERP updates. From their dropped hints, however, their updates are always oriented towards focusing on quality, so the best rule of thumb is to consider whether you could easily churn out high numbers of these pages without effort. If so, Google will likely crack down on it – if not now, in the future. A focus on long-term content creation is most likely to pay off for you.