SEO Advice after The Penguin Update
One of the major changes of this year has been the Penguin update, originally known as the Webspam Update that was announced first by Google on April 24th 2012. Shortly after, Google gave the update an official name: Penguin
In short, Google are targeting webspam but in addition to that, they are concerned with relevancy and providing a good user experience. Rather than ranking for terms through manipulative link building, there is a greater need for gaining links through providing value to users.
That being said, here are some important lessons from the Penguin update:
1. Write Quality Content
Your content should be of good quality and also give value to users. A blog section of a website should be used to help users by giving them useful information. It shouldn’t be artificial information that provides no value. Not only will this assist users, but other websites (and influencers of your industry) will be more likely to want to link to you as you are providing quality information.
2. Get Quality Links
Let’s face the truth. Anyone can get a lot of low quality links through manipulative link building. These are the so called “quick wins” that people are after. Before the Penguin update, they might have worked for a short space of time, but now this is even less likely. Instead of chasing “quick win” links, do it properly and get great links that fulfil the following:
– Provide some sort of value to the user
– Unique links rather than lots of duplicates over the site
– On sites that are authoritative, trusted and linked to by others
– Are located in the main page content rather than within a footer or sidebar
– Ideally from sites that are respected associations, organisations and businesses
3. Embrace Social Media
The SEO and Social Media worlds are constantly getting ever closer and overlapping like never before. Set up profiles in the main platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+. If you produce videos, promote them on YouTube. There are plenty of guides to getting started with Social and here is an excellent Twitter guide produced recently by Distilled.
4. Avoid 100% Exact Match Anchor Text
This has really been hit badly by the Penguin update and thrown a lot of people off course. Your link profile shouldn’t be 100% populated by exact match anchor text. Rather than having every link as a Keyword like “Lawyers (Placename)”, you need a diverse link profile with variations such as your brand name or your website address. You can get some links with the exact anchor text but don’t overdo it!
5. Avoid Keyword Stuffing
We know that Keyword Stuffing has always been dangerous in the past, nut nowadays it’s downright unforgivable. Your targeted keyword should be included a few times within the copy but it shouldn’t look unnatural. For more guidance on this, check out our recent post on the topic.
That’s it for now. Follow the above steps and you will be on your path to great content, quality links and a happy Penguin!
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