The Google Updates can wreak havoc on some websites, don’t let yours be one of them
There are simple things you can do to help offset Panda & Penguin
Whenever Google carries out a major update of their search algorithms, there is always going to be fallout from the effects it has on business websites, whether it’s good or bad.
Many business websites are dependent on Google for much of their traffic
This is not a great surprise as so many business websites are dependent on the Google search engine for much of their traffic. This along means there is bound to be at least some anxiety around these events.
Seems to be more affected with Penguin than previous updates
However since the recent Penguin update, I’ve noticed even more of an effect than usual, especially among everyday business websites, whose owner’s generally aren’t using any SEO techniques that might cause problems.
So I’ve decided to outlined below a few things to consider, that might minimise the impact of Penguin, based on my own experience of what seems to help and what doesn’t.
Develop good quality webpage content
One of the main focuses of the Panda update was to lower the rank of “low quality sites” and allow sites with better quality content to come in higher.
The simple follow-on from this is that if you spend more time developing quality, compelling content, over time your site will do better. And in my experience I’ve found this does work, and offers other significant benefits as well such as better on-page conversion of sales or enquiries.
Speed, is your website quick enough for Google?
Google is focused on giving their users a good experience and that extends to those that click on a link (result) from the search engine. So if your site is coming up in Google, and then is very slow to open or use, Google may have a problem with that.
This is why it is worth looking closely at how fast your website is, both for the page loading speed and the actual server it is running on. Taken at its most simplest, if your website isn’t as quick as it can be then it’s possible it may not do so well in Google and may end up with a lower ranking. Working through any issues can be a fiddle, but could be an easy win with Google, especially in the longer term.
Keep your search engine optimization efforts matched to Google’s Guidelines
Be careful about employing any SEO techniques or tweaks that fly in the face of the Google Webmaster Guidelines, either doing the work yourself, or employing an SEO consultant.
Google offer very specific advice on what you can do and cannot do, both in these Guidelines and in their more general SEO Starter Guide.
If you stay within the information give in these guides, I’ve found you can’t go too far wrong. One benefit of spending some time reading this information is that you can learn enough background knowledge about the subject, to know when someone working on your behalf, is not sticking to the rules.
Backlinks, are they helping or hindering you?
Up until the latest Penguin update, many website owner’s have focused on getting as many inbound links (backlinks) from other websites as possible, not worrying too much about the quality of them.
With Penguin this all seems to have changed. Poor quality backlinks help much less, and using link schemes may get the site downgraded further.
The message here is simple. By all means work to build quality backlinks from other relevant sites that will also offer you useful traffic, but don’t get involved with spammy links or any type of link scheme.