As all of you know the SEO industry has had a challenging couple of months. After Google’s new algorithm updates, (most noticeably Google Penguin update) businesses all over the world and from all industries have really felt the affect. For most companies the results of these updates were pretty bad, but for some who had their websites de-indexed they were completely devastating.
From what we can work out it seemed like a double hit by the penguin and panda updates;
- Google Panda update – aimed to weed out sites that were over optimised and providing poor quality content.
- Google Penguin update – aimed to punish websites that had been spamming Google, dismissed poor quality links and de-indexed a lot of the main offending sites.
What does this mean?
This has basically meant that any businesses that have been hit seriously by the updates have had to seriously reassess SEO practises and strategy. Even websites that have seen slight drops in ranking should be taking that as a warning that they need to tweak there approach to SEO. The only positive we can get from this is that by thoroughly evaluating sites that got hit with penalties it can eventually lead to better and more stable rankings.
One main point I think that should be taken from this; businesses shouldn’t rely solely on Google for getting new clients/business. We have seen to many companies get hit with penalties and not know what to do because Google was there only source of traffic and customers.
What can we do
So what can we do to recover from this update and broaden traffic and customer sources, we have a few suggestions below;
Provide high quality content
Quality and frequently updated content is key, this point cannot be stressed enough. For a long time now it hasn’t been as simple as just throwing keyword rich text onto a site and getting it ranking, Google have been trying more and more to force the use of relevant and good quality content for a while now. With these recent updates (although there are still some major glitches) they seem to have cracked down on it quite heavily. Provide relevant, interesting, good quality content and use keywords sparingly (but do use them). This is obviously not so easy in certain niches where there is little to write about, but find what you can and try and put your own spin on it. Investing time and thought into providing quality content will only benefit you in the long run.
Improve your business’s social media presence
Social media is a major factor in gaining site popularity and improving traffic / sales. When used correctly alongside SEO it can really give a huge boost to your businesss, but it can also provide a healthy amount of traffic and sales for you to rely on if google hits you with some penalties(or at least help you survive while you try and regain your rankings).
Spread out across the top social media sites to grow your customer base. Provide interesting, engaging content to get customers involved and interact as much as possible. The more sharable content you have spread out on these sites the better and including keywords naturally provides a good amount of links to your website.
Diversify your anchor text keywords
Where once you may have been targeting ten keywords / phrases, you should be aiming for something like thirty including variations and branded links. This balances out the anchor text so it doesn’t look too irregular to search engines and doesn’t raise any flags.
Adding in more branded links also gets your keyword in the anchor text with your brand to add a little variation. You can also go for the usual plurals mixed with brand or extra words to extend it even more. We’ve found this method to help significantly after the updates!
We’ve know ways to help improve rankings again after being hit by the updates and ways to improve websites to make them slightly more future proof. But google is always changing and adapting, so we must to.
I’m sure there will be some more big changes in the following months so expect more on this subject!