It has been a few weeks since Google released its latest round of updates to its ranking algorithms and I felt it necessary to explain what these updates are and how they affect your website. While many clients try to steer clear of the technical jargon that is associated with search engine optimization it is in their best interests to have somewhat of an understanding on how the landscape of search is changing and becoming more refined as time goes by.
Much of what I am about to share with you will have long term effects on your website and should be taken seriously as there will be significant ranking and traffic changes for many websites.
What is Google’s Panda Algorithm?
Google’s Panda algorithm filters out low-quality content from search engine results. This is to ensure that only truly engaging websites that contain relevant content are delivered on the first page of results. The most current update, know as Panda 4.0, is the fourth installment/update to this algorithm with many more to come as Google tries to combat new exploits for getting low-quality content to rank. This is why you should take the content of your website seriously.
One too many times I come across clients who provide the bare minimum regarding the content of their website. If you want to give your site the best possible chances of ranking at the top of search results you need to go above and beyond just the bare minimum. If your primary goal is just to “get your site up” that is fine but you’ll be nowhere to be found when it comes to search results. However, If you want to reap the rewards of having a great looking website that also dominates your local market you’ll need to be just as invested in the content of your webpages.
Even though we here at Audiology Design provide content resources for you to utilize, nothing beats a unique piece of content that talks about your practice, your staff, the products you carry or the health care services that you provide.
What is Google’s Penguin Algorithm?
The Google Penguin algorithms may be the most impacting to your website because it greatly punishes poor SEO tactics. This primarily affects websites that were SEOed with practices that used to work in the past but are now frowned upon. It focuses on finding and filtering out websites that have created unnatural and highly optimized linking profiles. Proper linking building is all about “earning” them so if Google determines that there is foul play involved you will most certainly be penalized.
Many unscrupulous SEO companies in the past would spam links across the internet indiscriminately in order to “game the system” which would result in very high rankings in a short period of time. This method is wrong and will hurt you big time today. The unfortunate aspect of this algorithm is that the sins of the past will most definitely come back to haunt you TODAY. Any prior work you may have had done in the past can harm you if you are still using a domain name that was a part of these practices.
What Can You Do?
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to protect your website and its reputation online. The best way to avoid any penalization is by following Google’s Webmaster Guidelines closely and ensuring that your SEO company does the same. These guidelines flesh out a list of approve tactics and approaches to search engine optimization that will prevent penalization.
While following Google’s Webmaster guidelines keep you safe they do little to actually improve your rankings. They are merely preventative measures to avoid being deranked and/or to sustain your current rankings. Here are list of “Google friendly” strategies you can utilize to improve the overall rankings of your web pages.
- Keeping Your Site Updated – Regular updates to the content on your website, whether it is on your homepage, in a blog, in your testimonials, or in your service page, helps Google’s ranking algorithm index your site and will send ranking signals that show your page is relevant for certain keywords. You earn more notice from Google and make it easier to gain rank by updating your website regularly with high-quality content.
- Using Social Media – Using social media sites, such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, to link back to your site performs several actions that help to raise your rankings. Firstly, you make it possible for people to see and share your content. Secondly, you build a connection between your social profiles and your website. Thirdly, you show Google that you’re an authority in your field who works hard to share your knowledge with others. All of these signals can make your site stronger and more likely to rank higher.
- Building a Quality Site – Sites that buy higher rankings will get punished. Sites that earn higher rankings don’t. You need to earn higher rankings for your website by putting in some old-fashioned elbow grease and providing high-quality resources for the people who want your product or service. Well-written and original content, clean and easy-to-understand design, and helpful information tells Google that you’ are an upstanding and trustworthy member of the online community.
Audiology Design can answer any questions you may have about your website, your rankings and anything else related to Google algorithms and search engines. We live and breathe SEO and always stay on top of the latest algorithm changes. Call us today and find out how we can deliver you more traffic, deeper customer engagement, and higher sales.