The recent Google Penguin update has the Internet world buzzing and a lot of people panicking. Much like the previous Google Panda update, Penguin was a change to Google’s search results ranking algorithm that resulted in website rankings changing on Google.
Obviously, this was both a problem and a great help for different groups of people and different websites. If your site is now ranked much lower than it was before, you’re likely desperately searching for ways to improve your ranking. If your site is now ranked higher, all is right in the world and you’re pretty happy right now.
So what did the Google Penguin update change?
A Google Penguin Overview
According to Search Engine Watch:
The main purpose of the Penguin update is to put a deep freeze on web spam in Google’s search results. By extension, a big piece of that web spam appears to be links from low-quality networks.
That post on Search Engine Watch goes on to say:
Google analyzes the quantity, quality, and relevance of websites that link to yours. When Google looks at your link profile, they’re looking at such things as what types of websites link to yours, how quickly you acquired these links, and the anchor text (the clickable words) used by the linking website. When Google’s algorithm detects such things as a large number of new links or an imbalance in the anchor text, it raises a big red flag.
As Google and many SEOs have preached for years, you’ll attract more links by creating unique, worthwhile content that others will want to link to naturally.
Strong, high quality website content is a great way to gain links to your website without upsetting search engines. This is exactly what Google wants you to do. You won’t be punished if your website or blog is interesting and popular enough that a lot of people decide to link to it. This is how the Internet works and how Google would like links to be built.
Google doesn’t want you to take part in “link building schemes.” Asking a friend or a related site to link to you is one thing. Asking hundreds of sites to all link to a specific page on your website with specific anchor text looks suspicious and Google notices. The best way to gain links is to create content that other websites will want to link to on their own. These sites won’t all use the name anchor text and they won’t all link to the exact same page on your website. This sort of natural link building is what Google is trying to push with this update.
Invest more time and resources in social media: Consumer behavior has changed in the past couple of years. People don’t rely just on Google search anymore but more on their friends and network to make recommendations and see what products or services they like.
Blog more and blog regularly: Writing content that is useful for end users will not just increase your reader base but force search engines to crawl, index, and rank your site. After all, engines need good content just as badly (to be relevant to their searchers) just as you need their “free” traffic.
On Google’s “Inside Search” blog, Matt Cutts stated that:
“White hat” search engine optimizers often improve the usability of a site, help create great content, or make sites faster, which is good for both users and search engines. Good search engine optimization can also mean good marketing: thinking about creative ways to make a site more compelling, which can help with search engines as well as social media. The net result of making a great site is often greater awareness of that site on the web, which can translate into more people linking to or visiting a site.
What Does the Google Penguin Update Mean for your Website?
There is no “shortcut” to a high ranking on Google. Buying links or using other “black hat” techniques may pay off in the short term, but Google will ultimately change its ranking system to hurt websites that rely on these tactics.
It has been stressed over and over again that high quality website content is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site. Interesting, entertaining and relevant website content that is properly formatted and structured is much more likely to be read, shared and linked by other people. These links and shares will increase your traffic on their own as other websites and people will directly send visitors to your site. You’ll increase your traffic without Google’s help, protecting you from any future changes to Google’s algorithm. The positive side effect is that Google will respect this link profile much more than they would if you desperately tried to get 1000 links with the exact same anchor text.
When you offer high quality website content, your website becomes successful. Visitors are more likely to find it on search engines. Those visitors are more likely to share your blog posts and articles with their friends through email, social networks and by linking to them from their own sites. High quality web content writing also encourages readers to come back for more and it is persuasive enough to turn those readers into paying customers.
If you need help with your Internet promotion strategy, if you’d like to strengthen your online presence or if you need high quality written content for your website, including blogging and article writing, please contact Toronto SEO Web Content today.