Ever since the emergence of the wide spectrum of search engine updates these past few years, a whole slew of content, blogs, vlogs and even infographs have been conveying different strategies and techniques on how to cope or “survive” the effects of these updates. This, if we for a while take the time to look at the big picture, gives us the general view that website owners today still resort to cheap and easy (fast) ways on how to cope or survive the penalties brought upon them by Penguin or Panda updates.
It is usually too late when site owners learn about what made their websites earn such detrimental penalties. Making it look like a group of doctors that are panicking to mend fatal gunshots on a dying patient.
In business, there’s a lot of pressure. Deadlines have to be met, KPI’s need to be reached, even egos need to be fed most of the time. Getting ahead of your competition sometimes clouds judgement and infects our minds with bad decisions. If for example a study has been made concerning the different strategies your competition is doing, and you learn about these, the first and almost always the only idea that comes in our heads is to out-perform them. That’s cool and all, although if you’re thinking of out -performing their guest postings by spam guest posting or increasing the number of internal links on your website with meandering destinations, you’re already signing up for another crisp search engine penalty.
Keep in mind, these updates (Panda, Penguin) aren’t evil things made to make your businesses online suffer. These are merely updates on search engines to make sure that the searchers and readers that go online get the right kind of information and the best ones. Why was Panda introduced back in 2011? To wipe out low quality content farms right? The fact that low quality content farms exist in the first place is the real problem. Not the update.
Perspective is an incredibly important and immensely disregarded thing with all of this. People are fussing about updates for a few years now. But all that’s needed is for website owners to do the right thing. “Out-performing” your competition does not always mean doing more in quantity. The quality of work that goes out to the public is and always will be the most important aspect to remember. As easy as that, if a website contains quality information, and is linked to high quality websites that are also relevant and gives correct high quality information to the public, then you don’t ever have to worry about updates and penalties.
Another view we could look at is how your website is built. Simply put, a website that contains the categories below deserves a penalty from Panda updates:
These are the types that do not last (or more like, doesn’t even reach) 500 words. It sort of worked before but of course, times have changed and this certainly does not work now. Since the updates were all geared towards delivering the most informative and rich content to users, making sure that the content within the website aren’t thin is crucial.
You can’t just copy content from someone else and call it your own. You can use them as reference or as sources, but not take them and label them yours. Reposting content and mentioning its real origin would be good, but serving up unique and new content each time gets more points for search engines. The more original you are, the more important you’ll be for search engines.
These are the content that is just “sitting still”. Having a blog post that was published one year ago is not an outdated content. Those ones still bring in value, outdated content are those that aren’t being used as sources for present time posts for example. When making content, you don’t just write and post it, you need to share it, or one day, use it as reference or sources for your present time posts.
In the old days, people would stuff their pages with keywords in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings. Things have changed since then. Yet these days there are still people and even SEO tools that tells us that a thicker or greater density on keywords is still an important factor in all of this. It isn’t. Keywords these days are and should be used correctly and intelligently. The keyword’s usability is the key now.
Non-existent User Experience
Another idea that was working long ago was that websites need to be rigidly “robotic”. People were making websites for crawlers yet again, things have already changed. *it’s 2015* and algorithm updates have changed and already is shaping the present environment for all our SEO efforts. The battleground has changed and evolving with it will be the determining factor for survival. A website needs to have features that will be good for and will be friendly to humans. Updates have been geared up to go towards giving users what they intend to look and search for. These changes need to be taken seriously.
Penguin was made to take down spam in the form of spammy links. These things are comprised of the repetitive link building strategies and link farms. You don’t just build links on the same place over and over again. Linking should be all natural. When making content, you don’t really need to worry about linking. The linking part should be a natural end result. This update usually knows the difference and can see which link is natural or unnatural.
It all comes down to these few things when it comes to coping with the 2 most famous updates today online:
Improve Content Quality
This is obviously directed to Panda. Also, the idea here is that you should take care of your audience. Making sure you deliver correct and ample amounts of specific information to your readers is the key. Make sure that you have researched your material, and that all the information on it are all correct and accurate. Make sure that what you are writing is timely and up to date. A content that has old information really isn’t something that runs well on search engines. Most especially, on an environment today that prioritizes new and trending information. Include in some images too. People are naturally image oriented. Images will help tired eyes relax a bit from reading, as well as make the reader enjoy the content. Lastly, proof read your work. Misspelled words and terms will be such a nightmare most especially when you are posting these things publicly.
Make Sure You’re Relevant
One of the first things that Google’s Panda targets are content that are no longer relevant. Simply put, stay updated with what is happening currently and write about that. Anything that’s current and up to date on your preferred industry is a gold mine of relevance. *Tech tip: if indeed you’re website contains information that’s already a tad bit too old now, simply update it. Blog posts can still remain as is, but you can include a part or a paragraph on the top (or actually at the bottom after the story or blog post content) that will share and explain a recent update related to the topic of that specific content.
Speaking of staying relevant, creating evergreen content is the way to go. These types of content are essentially content that can be forever useful. (If forever does indeed exist. Sorry, physics, astrophysics and cosmology.) These types of content contain step by step tutorials, top/list posts, guides, FAQ’s and anything that has really good quality that they could be used as reference materials for other possible content.
Mind the Right Keyword Density
Keywords can still be used within the other pages of the website, having them only within the range of 2 to 4 percent would be the safest though. You don’t need to count it actually, the fact is that, when making content (descriptions, blog posts etc) make sure that the keywords are placed in it naturally and not be pushed in and be overused appallingly.
This part is here because, even today, there are a whole slew of websites out there that still have pages or parts of their websites that contain some amounts of duplicate content. Copying something you’ve read online will lead you straight to a brutal Panda penalty. If something inspires you, you can write about that too. You just have to use your own words and not copy.
Boost Word Count
This is about the content you post for updates or blogs. Increasing the number of words on posts would attract Panda… in a good way. Rich amounts of relevant information is big impressive factor for search engines.
Do not Stray Away From Your Topic/Niche/Industry
If your website is about a certain topic or niche, you should focus on that particular thing only. For example, your website is about Cats, and you’ve decided to write about a totally different topic like, financial advises, and then placing it on your site which has nothing to do with finances. This will then result into successfully harming your website. So, try to avoid that.
Making sure that all the headers, sub-headers, proper paragraphs and bullet points are properly formatted will also ensure you that the website will not be harmed and anchored down by Panda updates.
Produce Content That’s Link Worthy
Let’s not forget that there’s still the Penguin Update. Making sure that you’re producing content that’s actually link worthy gives you plus points for Penguin. This means that the content you’re making will have quality links because it’s worthy of it. Change your perspective sometimes. Imagine if the thing you’re writing is something that you yourself would actually share and/or link on. If you don’t dig it, stop writing it. It’s that simple. Also, link worthy content are the types of content that barely needs any link building. It is a type of content that a lot of people will love to link on.
All in all, going through this today means that everything must be naturally engaging and should be of top quality. Never go the cheap way to success.