If you pay much attention to SEO and current events, you have probably heard about the fallout over the recent Google algorithm adjustment named Penguin.
On April 24 of this year Google changed it’s ranking algorithm. As you night know Google indexes almost every website on the internet and ranks those websites based on algorithms created by the best of the best PhD mathematicians. Google’s algorithm is in a constant state of flux. Google is constantly looking for that perfect experience for those who search the web using the Google search engine.
Google has always said they were against search engine spam. Search engine spam is defined as over optimizing one’s website and obtaining inbound links by other than naturally means.
The problem is until now to rank one had to participate in some level of search engine spam. For the most part everyone was doing it. To rank better or to stay competitive, one had to acquire inbound links.
So Google has now caught up with everyone and is now penalizing those website that participated in search engine spam, or at least the websites Google can identify.
It’s a good day and a bad day.
Recently I read an article on how to get your website to rank. The guy writing the article had figured out how to game the search engines in a big way. He puts up articles that link back to his site. Then he puts up articles that link to those articles. He uses software to reorganize one article and post it to 1000 different websites. He can take a website from inception to ranking in no time. After using this and other methods that break the rules, he has made a ton of money. He claims he made almost $50,000 in July alone. Lots of incentive. I hope he saves some money because I think he will find his empire crashes soon. While what he is doing probably will go undetected for a while, sooner or later Google will catch on and ban his website from their index.
It’s a good day for those of us who want to play by the rules. It is a bad day for those who want to break by the rules.
The Penguin update has started to penalize those website that have over optimized their content and have obtained spammy inbound links. Let face it most of use have been involved in search engine spam.
It’s a new day. While I believe content and inbound links are still king, there is no need to chase after those spammy inbound links any longer. We no longer have to compete with people like the above example.
There is a lot of speculation about what Google is looking for and Google has put some information out there as well. It will take a while to really understand what the new Penguin update really means to us.
In the short term I would recommend taking the following approach to your SEO campaign:
1. Refrain from trying to obtain inbound links. I know inbound links are tempting. Just wait 90 – 120 days to let the dust settle, by then we should have a better idea of what really happened.
2. Write top shelf content. Write the best content you can. Do not write for the search engines. Write for your target audience. Do not write short articles. Write articles that are at least one and a have pages long where you are using 9.5 x 11 page size at 12 point font.
3. Do not stuff keywords into your page title, page name, page heading, and content.
4. Do not try to use search terms in your content. Use words that makes sense to your reader. Use your search terms only if it makes sense.
5. Do not make any major changes. Move slowly and deliberately. It might be a good idea to keep a journal so you can look back at what you did and see if you see a pattern that effects your website’s ranking.
The bottom line is we want to build websites that will rank, and ones were visitors take the action we desire. We want to build websites to last. We want to live free of fear that one day we will wake up to find our website on page 6 of the search results and scrambling to fix things. This is a long process. If we continue to add new and relevant content that people what to read, then sooner or later our website will became an authority site, one that Google really shows a lot of love.
Over the next few months I hope to formulate a plan on how to approach SEO given the new Google rules.
It’s a good day and it’s a bad day. For those who used search engine spam to get ahead, it is a bad day. For those of us who do not want to engage in search engine spam, it is a good day. If we move deliberately and add good quality content to our websites on a regular basis we should be fine.