Immediately following the major update (code named ‘Penguin’) of Google’s algorithm earlier this year, website owners and webmasters were dismayed to discover their page rankings reduced or revoked. As a result, guidelines previously put forward for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), in the main, ceased to apply.
Individuals and organizations that regarded themselves as SEO experts, could very well have lost their credibility, and were no longer able to use previous accomplishments to pay testament to their authority in this field. Critics went as far as to say that SEO was dead.
But was this really the case? A more accurate statement might be to say that Black Hat SEO was dead. In fact, Google Penguin was specifically implemented to eliminate the use of these unethical techniques to increase a website’s page rank.
In an effort to improve Google search results, the new algorithm ensures that sites that get maximum visibility are those that offer the most valuable information to users. This means irrelevant sites are, by and large, eliminated, produces a better browsing experience for all. Web spamming no longer pays off. Quality content is now the major driver in Google’s Page Rank.
This of course means no shortcuts. SEO techniques can of course be used, but must be White Hat, that is intended to also provide good value to the worldwide web. The following are tips for post Google Penguin SEO.
1) Build quality content within a specific niche. Google’s campaign to clean the web started with the Google Panda algorithm update in 2011, which focused on content. Useful and relevant content drives traffic, and generates legitimate links from relevant sites. Concentrating on a niche will develop site reputation and authority. Over time, the site will gain the support of regular viewers who will naturally create links to their own sites or social media.
2) Diversify on anchor text. Using various anchor texts for ranking will prove to Google that the site is not merely created to primarily generate income by trying to rank 1st on one keyword. Various keywords appear more natural and show intent to simply direct viewers interested in the topic. Google penalizes web sites whose reason for existence is merely to obtain traffic from Google and monetize.
3) Create relevant and quality links. Links to the site should be strategically placed on sites relevant to the niche. Join relevant networks where similar sites can collaborate and develop legitimate back links. Guest posting on related blogs is currently one of the best link-building efforts acceptable to Google Penguin.
4) Ensure that the web site is available to different types of web devices. The use of mobile media continues to accelerate worldwide. As such, websites must be flexible and able to adjust to any type of gadget. They should be clearly viewable on small, as well as large screens. The site could, for example, be set up to display full capabilities when viewed on the large screens provided by all in one computers, but show limited images or videos on a small tablet, or smartphone. A website with this versatility will build a solid reputation as well as generate loyal following.
5) Choose a reliable web host for the website. The very foundation of all SEO efforts rely on a web host that will keep the website live and available 24/7. Downtime should be very minimal and barely noticeable. Moreover, the web host should keep the website secure from attacks, and protect from any data loss. Though it is advisable to back up a website on a regular basis, a good web host will be able to provide a webmaster with their own back-ups should this ever happen..
Even if Google has made it harder for site owners to manage their search rankings, we have to accept that these updates are designed to make the worldwide web a better environment for business, education, and entertainment. No more poor content listed on the first few pages of search results, and less spamming over all. It may take longer learn how to rank well, but playing by Google’s rules is likely to benefit any website in the long term.