The latest algorithm update from Google caused quite a stir in the SEO world. The search engine may have claimed that it only affected approximately 3% of websites, but there has been enough buzz around the topic to easily assume that it may be higher, particularly as they roll out updates in the upcoming months.
Yes, the Penguin update has created quite a stir. Enforced almost two months ago now, we’ve been given enough time to really absorb the changes and learn a few lessons in the process.
The main one being, don’t mess with Google.
Their SEO webmaster guidelines have stated for a long time now that pages should be made for users and not for search engines. Finding that there were plenty of websites ignoring these instructions, the wrath of the Penguin was unleashed.
But, if you haven’t done anything wrong there shouldn’t really be much to worry about. It’s about making everyone buck up their ideas and play by the rules. One concern is how to gain organic links easier. No longer are ‘bad links’ going to get you anywhere. In fact, they may very well get you penalised instead, making these efforts completely counterproductive.
Here are a few starting points to boost your natural linking:
1. Create a buzz through social media
Think about what you last shared over social media. Why did you share it? Chances are, it was relevant, useful, or would be of interest to your followers. It really is as simple as that.
It has now been acknowledged by Google that social signals will be taken into consideration they will in determining a website’s value in their method of ranking, so for those who doubt social’s impact, you may want to reconsider.
If you are interacting with potential customers and engaging with industry leaders, you can really gain an authoritative persona, meaning that when you do have something you want to share, your click-through rates should be higher thanks to the trust you have built.
2. Focus on long tail keywords
It’s easy to become consumed by competitive keywords but don’t neglect the longer tail keywords too. If people are answering questions online, answer them! If you invest in useful content that responds to these questions, not only do you know that there is an audience there, but it is useful and should gain authority over time.
It’s been agreed that we need better content, less keyword stuffing and more white hat techniques in general. As Google has stated, they want you to start talking to people and not robots, so get out there and answer some questions. If it’s genuinely useful, people will visit, read and share.
3. Implement Rel = “author”
If you’ve taken the time and effort to invest in good content, first of all, well done. Secondly, you will want to make sure you are recognised for it. You’re not producing useful content for nothing and you should get credit for it with the intention of building authority for your business.
Adding this authorship links your Google+ profile page to be linked to your author name in search results. Your profile picture will be displayed next to any posts you have published, making them automatically stand out. This should increase click through rates from being personable – people want to hear from people, not companies.
It does look like Google are rewarding people for getting on board the Google+ train, but this little trick will easily provide a decent amount of exposure for not all that much implementation.
This can be a huge bump if you’re new to an industry and may not have as much of a following as others.
Google has rolled out approximately 50 updates this year and of course there will be more in the future. It’s not just about beating the penguin and any other animals Google decides to name an update after in the future. It’s about providing a long term digital strategy that is future proof.
Image courtesy of InsuranceMarketinghq.com