Of late many webmasters and bloggers have had sleepless nights thanks to recent Google updates. Just when marketers thought that they had survived the Panda update, another animal called Penguin (Update) came calling.
For a long time internet users had been complaining about landing on sites with crappy content on search results. This was not good for both search engines and online business entrepreneurs.
Search engines, especially Google, make most of their money through advertisement. It is estimated that 97% of Google’s revenue comes from advertisement.
With people losing trust in search engine results, it meant that they were also losing revenue derived from advertisement. On the other hand, internet business people were also losing since people resulted in finding other ways of getting information.
Though business people are complaining of the way Google is going about punishing sites, if you look at it critically, this was the only way to rid search results of spammy sites.
The days of blackhat strategies seem to have come to an end or so it seems, with engine spiders becoming more intelligent. No more buying of backlinks, overstuffing keywords or duplicating content for the sake of ranking high.
Gamming Google is now becoming a difficult thing to succeed in, but only time will tell what blackhat strategists will come up with in future. In a way, Google SEO quality guidelines seem to be enforced.
Probably, you may be a victim of the recent updates and you are wondering if it is possible to recover. I have good news for you but you need to read on to learn what Google really expects from you.
Here are Google SEO guidelines in a layman’s language:
According to Matt Cutts, the people who were penalized by Penguin were those optimizers employing negative SEO tactics. These include link cloaking, overstuffing keywords, copying other people’s content, buying links and so on.
The questions that people end up asking are:
1: How do I build my link popularity?
2: How many keywords should I have in any given article?
3: As an affiliate marketer, how would I go about describing my merchant products without duplicating?
If you have other questions please feel free to post them in the comment section below and you will get expert SEO advice. In the meantime lets us address the above questions.
Answer 1: Google SEO guide on how to approach link building
One thing that Google seems not able to wish away is using backlinks to rank websites. Google is trying to find ways of positioning websites by measuring social signals, but they are limited due to the small number of people registered on their social site, Google Plus.
Another challenge that search engines face is the ability to manipulate social activity by use of softwares. Therefore, the best way to increase your site authority will be to employ legit link building strategies.
Ideally, the more backlinks your site gets from high quality niche sites, the better the site will be positioned on SERPs. These means that not all links are good links.
Make sure that if you have backlinks coming from link farms, paid links and spammy sites, have those links removed. There are better techniques of building backlinks such as guest blogging, article marketing, forum marketing, press release, posting on web 2.0 pages and comment posting.
According to Google SEO guide, link building should be natural. The only way to do that is by publishing rich content. Generating quality content acts as link bait and thus people will link back to your site naturally and that’s what Google likes to see.
You are also guaranteed that with rich content only quality sites will pick your content thereby boosting your site authority. It is true that you might not have full control on sites that link back, but with good content chances are that quality sites will be the first to notice you.
Answer 2: How to tackle the issue of Keyword Usage:
Keywords are integral when it comes to site optimization in that they help search engines know what your content is about. But still, you need to be careful not to be seen by search engines as if you are over optimizing.
When you consider this carefully, keyword stuffing is also not good for your site conversion. In most cases, when you stuff keywords your content will be unreadable and boring thus resulting to a high bounce rate.
Google guidelines when it comes to SEO are very clear; generate content for readers and not for search engines. Anyway, you expect your readers to become customer and not search engines.
Since you cannot avoid the use of keywords, it is recommended you use them tactfully.
Mention your keyword phrase in the body of your article preferably in the first paragraph. Apply strategies like word stemming and relating words to mention your keywords, click here to read more on that.
This is the best way to make sure you maintain the right keyword density. As for those who use wordpress as their blogging platform, add plugins such as Platinum SEO pack or WordPress SEO to check your keyword density.
Note: The number of times you mention a keyword in an article is what is measured as keyword density.
This means the longer a page is, the more times you can repeat your keyword or keywords.
Answer 3: How to avoid duplicating content:
The SEO guidelines put in place by Google clearly stipulate; no duplicating other people’s content. The sentence of duplicating content can be very harsh.
The people who are more likely to fall victim to this offence are affiliate marketers, e-commerce sites and review sites. These kinds of sites are in most cases forced to use the same product description as their merchants thus resulting to duplicate content.
In order to deal with duplicate content, SEO experts recommend the use of robot.txt files, 301 redirect and canonical tags. WordPress also has plugins that tell search engines which pages not to crawl or index.
Personally, the best way to avoid content duplication is coming up with your own product description. The English language is believed to be rich thus you can sure find other words to describe a product.
If you have to result to employing redirects and robot.txt files, use softwares such as link assistance to see how top sites are doing it. This software will help you identify what onsite optimization strategies top marketers are using.
How to beat Penguin and all future Google Updates:
Google SEO guidelines are in the open for everyone to read and implement. In fact, of late it has become very easy to predict which sites will get to first page and which ones will not.
Going by the current SEO trends, algorithm tweaking has just begun. The only way of making sure you do not step out of the required guidelines is to give Google what they want.
Top on the list of Google SEO guide is sharing quality content. By this we mean content that is shareable, linkable and of course add value to your readers.
In addition, monitor what top bloggers and webmasters in your niche are doing in terms of link building and keyword usage. Note that SEO strategies vary from one niche to another thus the reason you have to track what people in your niche are doing.
Depending on SEO alone to market your site is not the wise thing to do. This is because search engines have become so unpredictable and sometime legit websites become victims.
Include in your online marketing arsenals other web marketing techniques like social media marketing, video marketing, guest blogging, article marketing and other referral marketing tactics.
If 80% of your traffic is from Google you are probably walking on very thin ice even though some people would say that is debatable.
Someone once said, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”, though you are better off putting your eyes on one basket than trying to keep an eye on 10 baskets.
So, if SEO is your thing go right ahead but remember to adhere to all Google SEO guidelines and hope for the best.
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