Preparing for Google's Penguin 2.0: How to Protect Your Traffic
Google has risen to Internet dominance by capitalizing on both business savvy and game-changing innovation. From the very beginning, Google has built its brand around offering higher quality search results than its competitors. With this trendsetting user experience in mind, the search engine powerhouse released the “Panda” update to its algorithm.
This drastic modification to Google’s internal workings served as a catalyst for the world of Internet marketing and SEO. Those making a living from online marketing found themselves facing a new reality. On April, 24th Google released another algorithm change also named after an adorable creature. The Google penguin update sent another strong message to the SEO community, one that made it crystal clear that quality will always overshadow the skilled exploitation of loopholes.
Shortly after the internet community started to fully register the effects, Google's Matt Cutts announced that Penguin 2.0 would be even more jarring and jolting to those involved with SEO. He stated "you don't want the next penguin update." Here are four tips for those wishing to prevent traffic disaster when penguin 2.0 is released.
Work for People, Not Search Engines: The penguin and panda algorithm updates have made it perfectly clear that the days of using algorithm exploits as core business models are numbered. Spamming low quality, keyword rich content is no longer an effective SEO strategy.
You must engage visitors with both relevant information and visual appeal. A person will feel more trusting of advertisements if they are located on a page that they consider to be useful. Credibility is essential to marketing successfully on the modern Internet. Stale content and an ugly web design are enough to warrant severe punishment by all major search engines. Catering to the human element behind marketing is the only way to stay viable.
Relevant, Quality Backlinks: While the panda update focused mainly on removing junk content, the penguin update hit backlinking much harder. Sites lacking a natural looking backlink profile were hardest hit by penguin. The use of low quality blog networks and blackhat SEO services caused many sites to become all but invisible to users of Google's search engine. Focus your backlinking efforts on sites with content that is relevant to your niche.
Do not make it appear you are blatantly trying to manipulate Google's search algorithm. When using exact match anchor text, target at least two different search terms. Never allow all of your backlinks to contain the same anchor text. Pick two other relevant search terms and alternate between them. This ensures you avoid appearing unnatural to Google while gaining traffic from multiple search streams.
Design Matters: Poor web design translates into poor profits. Sites that are thrown together quickly in a messy fashion should expect to most heavily incur the wrath of updates to Google’s algorithm. Be sure to put enough time and effort into planning the structure of a site to ensure it runs at optimal functionality.
Avoid heavy load times like the plague, even if it means sacrificing some flash and java-script in the process. All media elements must be optimized for extremely fast load times. The goal here is to offer a smooth user experience through the entire duration of a visit. With social media impacting the industry like never before, the worth of a satisfied visitor cannot be understated.
Content is King: Google is a multi-billion dollar platform with a global reach. Being the standard for Internet search comes along with high expectations in regards to quality. With each algorithm update, Google attempt to cleanse its system of garbage content. To avoid any potential issues, make sure all material is original, relevant and grammatically sound. Keywords are still very useful; just make sure they are placed in a way that isn’t tacky and overdone. Being listed high on the SERPs is an honor, not a right. Make sure all material is of professional quality.
Social Bookmarking: The new Caffeine indexing update to Google’s algorithm allows for it to crawl and index the Internet faster than ever before. This means social media outlets are gaining a lot of attention, in hopes that scanning these sites will provide the freshest information possible. With every update, Google focuses more and more attention on the social media element for factoring in what pages are useful to visitors.
The time and date a post or link is created has a lot of significance. Creating hundreds of frivolous posts is a tactic that simply doesn’t work. The penguin and panda algorithm updates make social bookmarking one of the most effective strategies for telling search engines that content is current and relevant.
Change is always feared, however, the ability to adapt is vital for determining winners and losers in the world of online marketing. Understanding these new dynamics and then working them into an overall comprehensive business strategy is the only surefire way to stay viable in the ever-changing world of SEO.