It has been an eventful year for online marketers since December 2011. Depending on the SEO strategies you employed, you could be laughing all the way to the bank or crying all the way from the bank.
The release of the new Webspam update officially named Penguin Update has seen many sites see a drop in ranking. Therefore, the big question is, how do you make sure you don’t get hit by this update?
If your ranking has dropped, you need not to worry. There is still a chance for you to regain your ranking. On this blog post we are going to review online marketing strategies you can use as far as SEO is concerned and avoid getting penalized by Google.
A closer look at how the Penguin Algorithm is working indicates that more emphasis have been put in place to punish sites that over optimize. Click here to read a detailed report on other parameters that Penguin has incorporated.
Below are the areas you need to work on to ensure Google does not penalize your website or blog:
Keyword stuffing (over optimization): This is when your keyword density goes above 3%. Sometimes back we posted an article on how to use keywords so as to make sure you don’t over optimize.
The other thing you need to avoid is having the same exact keyword in your page title and URL. It would be advisable to use a primary keyword phrase in your URL and secondary keyword in your page title.
Google bots are nowadays intelligent enough to tell what your content is about so don’t worry so much about keyword usage. Vary your keywords by using related, relevant or synonyms.
An important element of SEO has been Meta tags. If you are operating a site that shares content on money, SEO experts advice you avoid having the same key term in your keyword tag and description tag.
In your description Meta Tag, add content that looks natural rather than stuffing keywords. The best strategy would be to put a call to action message aimed at getting readers attention and not for SEO purposes.
When it comes to creating pages make sure that every webpage targets different keywords related to your niche. Don’t have many webpages all using the same exact keyword phrase.
If you have to create pages with the same topic try and ensure that the keywords are not exact and more importantly each webpage should at least 1000 words with unique content.
Duplicate Content: Ideally, the less duplicate content you have the higher your site will rank on search engine results. In order to avoid having duplicate content, make certain each page you publish has at least 65% unique content.
Some internet marketers are known to add blocks of content from their old articles to their new articles to make them longer. In case you use that tactic to add the value of your pages then know that your days are numbered. Reading internet SEO marketing reviews, it shows that Penguin will penalize sites that employ this tactic.
Outbound Back Linking: This is also known as on page back linking. If you did not know, the sites you point to play a major role in your site ranking.
To improve your SEO ranking ensure you link out to quality, reputable and authority sites. A good example is linking out to site like Wikipedia or about.com. You can also link out to authority websites and blogs in your niche.
Note: Avoid under hand SEO tactics like cloaking, these are negative SEO strategies that work for a while but in the long term will hurt your site ranking.
Post Quality Content: Time and time again Google has insisted on the importance of posting shareable content. Before you hit the publish button ask yourself, if you were the reader would you share the article?
If the answer is Yes! Then go right ahead and publish, but in case you feel you need to work on it some more, please do just that.
Text is not the only form of content available; you can add other forms of content like uploading videos, podcast and still images. This to the eyes of search engines is very good and thus will help to improve your overall SEO value and ranking.
If you have a product based site, it will also be to your advantage if you include legit testimonials and product internet market reviews. For those who have won awards and certifications, you need to also add them to your site.
Incoming Back Links: The sites that are pointing to your site can easily hurt or boost your SEO ranking.
Penguin is said to have hit sites that have unnatural backlinks. These are sites that have anchored their links using the same exact keyword phrase.
If your anchor text portfolio contains only one keyword phrase, watch out. For example: if your site is about internet marketing, it is not advisable to have in your backlink portfolio like this keywords:
“internet marketing strategies”
“internet marketing reviews”
“best internet marketing”
According to Penguin Update this is over optimization for the keyword “internet marketing”. This is especially so if the same keywords are the once appearing in the title, URL and in the body of the article.
The best approach to use is to anchor your links using varying keyword terms. For example;
“marketing on the internet strategies”
“online reviews of marketing on the web”
“best internet strategies of marketing”
The difference of the two techniques of link anchoring is that the previous looks manipulated while the latter, appears natural to search engines. Google is intelligent enough to know what your site is about therefore anchor your links using text that have a call to action message.
Still on the issue of increasing link popularity avoid building backlinks from sites that have been de-indexed, marked as spam or banned.
Both Panda and Penguin updates affected some sites thus making them lose SEO value. These low quality sites include article directories that have been penalized, Paid Link sites and free link sites.
Do not post your website or blog on these affected sites; instead put more emphasis on building natural backlinks from quality sites.
Submitting comments is another great strategy of building backlinks but remember the same rules should apply. Post comments on relevant sites that are of high quality and reputation in your niche.
High quality review sites such as Google Reviews and Yahoo are also great places for internet marketers to generate quality backlinks.
Social Signals: Recent SEO trends show that search engines are steadily moving towards ranking sites using social signals. The main reason for this is that search engines deem social sharing as natural.
Whether social mentions are subject to manipulation or not we just have to wait and see. As for now, make sure every article you publish is posted on twitter, facebook, pinterest, linkedin and more importantly Google Plus.
Summary: From the way Panda and Penguin Updates are operating, online marketers should now go back to the roots and basics of SEO.
Generate content that is helpful to your target audience and leave search engines to do their thing. The over fixation on SEO needs to come to a complete stop or else your online business will face obscurity.
Let us go back to the days when writing an article the reader came first and search engine second.
Consider these questions before publishing your site content;
Are the SEO strategies you are using long term or are they just for short term purposes?
How would you write your article if search engines did not exist?
Which words would your site visitors use as anchor text when linking to your content?
Is the content quality worth sharing with your friends?
Note: Google can now tell what your site content is all about so stop using negative SEO strategies like manipulating backlinks or gamming site relevancy.
A review of Panda and Penguin reveal that online marketing will now be about presenting natural signals in order to rank well.
Do you have anything else that would be helpful regarding this sensitive and important topic? Kindly use the comment section below to post your views and contribution.
We intend to keep updating you with the latest internet marketing reviews especially on SEO, thus enter your email address below or in the section provided on the sidebar.
Author: Stephen Kavita