Sometimes, it is hard to tell whether Google is truly trying to reward website owners for doing their SEO by the book, or make the process more difficult than it already is. Things became much clearer when the search giant rolled out Penguin, the algorithm update designed to penalize sites that are so-called “over-optimizing”, and in turn, give more visibility to those who are following the recommended best practices. Google Penguin has received a lot of bad hype, but when you understand what it’s all about, you’ll see that it’s not the monster it’s made out to be.
Thanks to Penguin, authority is now more important than ever. With the update in effect, Google is focusing more on the inbound links a website obtains when determining whether or not to enhance their ranking in the SERPs. To be more specific, it is carefully evaluating the reputation and overall quality of those sites providing the backlinks. This is ultimately good for SEO because it renders those using link farms and taking similar shortcuts powerless. Nowadays, it is much better to grab a couple of links from good quality sites, than dozens from low quality ones.
Keyword Tricks Are Out
Keywords are “key” to one’s SEO strategy. They are so important, that website owners often resort to hiding them and other tricks that involve stuffing as many of them as possible into their content. Google Penguin specifically aimed to snuff out several of the unethical keyword-based SEO tricks, essentially making it much harder for sites to manipulate their way to the top of the search results. As a result, sites that recognize their importance, yet use keywords naturally are being viewed as more valuable to internet searchers. This role of reversal is bad for keyword stuffers, but great for those who have long believed that less is more.
Quality Content is Finally King
“Content is king”. This old saying is synonymous with SEO and content marketing in general, but for the longest time, it appeared as if quality had nothing to do with anything. Not too long ago, marketers were being rewarded with top ranking in the search results despite creating content that was low in the quality department. As long as they piled up a good number of links and saturated their content with relevant keywords, the search spiders would come crawling. The good thing about Penguin is that it rewards sites that offer content that is valuable and helpful to real people, while penalizing those who are strictly out to pull high rankings.
Have your search engine rankings taken a hit in the Google Penguin era? If so, it may be a sign that you need to adjust your SEO strategy and do away with some of your current practices. Google is being transparent about all this, so we recommend getting familiar with what the company wants to see, as well as what it doesn’t.
Guest Post by Aidan Hijleh :
Aidan Hijleh is a freelance copywriter and serves as the Non-Profit Partnership Liaison for Benchmark Email. Aidan advocates free email marketing services to assist with the flourishing of grassroots organizations.