The SEO industry is buzzing again about Google’s latest algorithm hype – the Penguin webspam update.
Everyone, remain calm.
I’m sure some good sites suffered with the new adjustment. But it’s aimed at the unscrupulous crowd that goes overboard with SEO – innocently or on purpose. Google is cracking down more and more on web sites that get irrelevant links with the expectation that they can game search engines actually do reward good inbound links. And Google also isn’t big on keyword stuffing in your content either.
Earlier this year, Google also attacked web sites that do a poor job of including text content up high – “above the fold” as the saying goes.
Last year, Google came down hard on web sites that had a lot of duplicate content. Hint: originality helps.
What does this mean for you?
1. Don’t mess with search engines.
2. Clean up your mess if you’ve gone overboard.
So far, we’re doing just fine.
We also don’t lose sight of he fact that Google makes all sorts of smaller algorithm changes throughout the year.
We’re always making adjustments on our end to protect or improve our clients’ rankings.
One of our medical clients has a keyword phrase that’s #2 on Google right now among 11.8 million results. According to Google, there are an estimated 1 million searches a year for that phrase. Another client sells industrial equipment and is #3 for a phrase that people search for 145,000 times a year.
And guess what, the web sites are peppered with those keyword phrases. But we’ve taken great care to include them only when it sounds natural.
I’m not too worried about the Google Penguin update. Rankings rise and fall. We strive for the overall improvements with keywords and rankings. It’s all about relevance.
Hopefully your business is built on more than how well you rank on Google (industry leader Danny Sullivan has a great piece about businesses that rely too much on Google). We love it when we get leads and sales from Google. But that’s only part of an effective strategy that factors in web design, calls to action, news releases, link building, permission e-mail marketing, social media and paid search when it makes sense.
If you’re going to focus on SEO (and you should to a degree), go after the keywords that your web site can support. If you’ve tried to get on the first page of Google and fallen short, make sure you are working with the right online marketing expert. If that person or team has a good reputation, it may be time to try some different keyword phrases or work on new content or build up your social media presence or pursue links from outstanding directories, publications, blogs and other sources.
If you’re doing the right things, put the Google Penguin out of your mind and work where you can excel. Write an article for a popular industry publication. Create some compelling content on your web site that others will talk about and pass along. You have many options.