Chances are you already know what Google’s Penguin update is unless of course you are new to SEO and internet marketing in general. It was a new Google search engine algorithm which resulted in many websites and pages being penalised because they violated Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
When the Google Penguin updated was released, it went through all the websites on its database, including big corporate ones and small ones, to see which ones used manipulative or black hat techniques to improve their rankings. Culprits were penalised by being demoted in the rankings or delisted completely. Unfortunately, some innocent, good quality sites that had appeared manipulative to the algorithm were also pushed down the peaking order in the search results.
These “black hat techniques” include: keyword stuffing, cloaking, intentionally using duplicate content for search engine benefit, participating in link schemes (link farms), and excessive use of exact-match keywords in links and content; to name a few.
7 Things to Help you Excel in Modern SEO Marketing
Now that we are clear what the Google Penguin update is, how do we go about setting up our websites so as to win the ever evolving SEO game? There are a number of things that could be done but here are 7 very important things to focus on.
Get Niche Related Backlinks
Gone are the days when links from just about every website worked like a charm. Today, with the Google Penguin, it is best to get relevant links from websites that are in your niche. The links need not come from websites that are super-focused niche websites that are related to yours but the closer to your niche they are the better.
Use Advanced Techniques
Adopting advanced and sophisticated link building techniques shows Google that you’re getting your links the hard way which means they are genuine. However, it doesn’t mean you should spend too much time building backlinks. The aim is to make your link building techniques look like something that not just anybody would do easily.
Get Legitimate Backlinks
Legitimacy in SEO marketing is just as important as it is in other aspects of life. The more your backlinks appear legitimate to Google the better so make sure your link building efforts are justifiable, even in the absence of search engines.
Vary Anchor Text Keywords
When you have tonnes of links pointing to your website using the same keywords, it obviously looks unnatural and shady and Google’s Penguin will drop the hammer on your site hard. Hence, in your efforts to get good get quality related backlinks, ensure you vary your anchor keywords as much as possible.
Maintain a Brand Perspective
Your promotional efforts should be geared towards building and maintaining a solid brand.
For a very long time now, internet marketers have said “content is king” and that statement has never being any truer than it is today. To beat the Google Penguin update, your aim should be to produce excellent contents; contents that are naturally shared and linked to. When Google crawlers see this, they will love your website and drive you tonnes of free traffic.
Google uses statistical data and co-citations to rank sites on its database using off-site factors that go well beyond targeted backlinks. Hence, make it clear to the search engines what your brand is all about so that when they are mentioned without a link back to your site, the search engines can still recognise them. So focus on creating buzz and getting discussions about your brand going.
SEO is undergoing a constant change, especially with Google. The Google Penguin will not be the last update to unsettle the internet world which means we as SEO marketers should be working hard to focus on longevity and brand just as much as we should on rankings. In doing so, we will be sure to remain in Google’s good books when future updates are rolled out.