Google has been busy. First, it introduced Google Panda. Next came the Page Layout Update. Just recently, Google released its Google Penguin update. As a merchant, you may want to be concerned. If you are an online merchant who has used some shifty SEO tactics to drive traffic to your website, you may want to be very concerned.
The goal of Google Penguin is to target webspam that has become so prevalent in recent months. Online marketers found ways around Google’s old algorithm by placing links around the web on websites that they have no business being on. Google’s new Penguin update tries to streamline the search results brought to the user and therefore, focuses in on a more positive user experience. Google Penguin strives to bring web pages to users that are engaging and are viewed often.
Andy Chisholm’s recent blog post, “What Does the Google Penguin Update Mean to You?, suggests looking at your site’s analytics to see if you have been affected by the update. If your numbers have dropped significantly from April 24, 2012, then you have been a victim of Google Penguin. Chisholm suggests combing through your website and eliminating any content that could be construed as spam or bad content. Additionally, you will need to immediately cease any SEO practices aimed at getting around Google’s rules. Your best bet now is to just cooperate with Penguin and instead, focus on what you can do to ride out this latest update in stride. Organic growth, states Chisholm, is now the way to beat Google’s system.
What else does Chisholm recommend?
- Make sure your content is unique and SEO friendly. Google is playing to the user now. A site that is user-friendly, easy to navigate and holds exciting (and FRESH!) content will rise to the top of search results — not a website that contains duplicate content or other bad design techniques aimed to circumvent Google’s algorithm. Think about it — you want your visitors to linger, don’t you?
- Along with making your website high quality, you will want to make your links high quality as well. Get rid of any bad links that are posted on websites with zero relevance to your website. Having spammy links will only move your website to the back of the search engine bus.
- Trading links with other websites that don’t have any relevance to yours won’t work either. Google finds these and sends you both to the time-out zone.
It can be daunting to take all of these new updates in and make them work for your online marketing strategy. However, if you find yourself overwhelmed, it may benefit you to look into an internet marketing service that can help you operate your online marketing strategy at its best.