The following is a guest post by Peter Nevis. His bio is at the end of the article.
As Google’s algorithms change, you must alter your site to meet the new SEO requirements. In April 2012, Google launched their ‘Penguin’ update, which is an algorithm change designed to reward sites that offer a good user experience. Here are 7 tips to making your site attractive to Google’s new Penguin algorithm.
- 1. Offer unique, high-quality content
- 2. Ensure that each web page has a unique title
- 3. Deliver fresh content frequently
- 4. Make your site social-media friendly
- 5. Eliminate keyword stuffing
- 6. Make sure outgoing links are relevant to your website
- 7. Don’t engage in link exchanging
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1. Offer unique, high-quality content
This is probably the most important thing you can do to optimize your site for Penguin. One of Google’s core goals is to provide good user experience. Users do not want to visit websites with subpar, spun content, some of which is barely readable; as such, Google is cracking down on websites that host it. Stick to unique content of excellent quality that is relevant to your readers.
2. Ensure that each web page has a unique title
Just as web pages made up of unique content fare well after the Penguin updates, pages with unique titles are also rewarded. Make sure each title is relevant; it should attract the attention of a reader, not a search engine.
3. Deliver fresh content frequently
On Google’s blog, a Google Fellow compared search results with warm cookies – they are best when they are fresh. Previous algorithm changes have reflected this stance, and Penguin is no exception. Posting on a regular basis can boost your rank, provided that your posts are of high quality. Low quality posts do not get a boost.
Having social media presence helps increase brand awareness, which can improve traffic. Additionally, things like Twitter references can help your rank. If you’ve got quality information to share, investing effort in social media can be an effective way to get your website noticed by the right audience. It could also contribute to natural link building.
5. Eliminate keyword stuffing
One of the main aims of the Penguin update is to penalize websites guilty of keyword stuffing, which is when a web page’s content and meta tags are artificially packed with keywords, many of which are unrelated to the page’s content. Although you should research which keywords would effectively draw readers to your site, try to limit the number in your meta tags – 10 and under should be a good guideline.
In order to move up in search results and boost ad revenue, some sites took to planting irrelevant outgoing links in their blog posts and articles. These links were usually related to frequently searched words. The Penguin update penalizes websites that do this. All outgoing links should be relevant to the topic you are discussing.
At one time, it was okay for one website to link to another in exchange for getting a link back. Those days have long since passed, though. Google wants to reward links that are developed naturally, and Penguin reflects that. If you do decide to exchange links, make sure it is with a website in your niche, or that is at least related to your niche. Ensuring mutual relevance could make the exchange appear less suspicious.
The most important concept to take away from the Penguin update is that Google wants people to make websites for users, not machines. Avoid deceptive SEO practices. Instead, focus on frequently creating high-quality content. That will pay off much more in the long run because, not only will you have a site appreciated by visitors, but you are more likely to consistently rank well in Google.
Peter Nevis, who wrote this guest post on behalf of Orange Line SEO, contributes to various websites. He is a marketing expert and enjoys writing articles about SEO & online marketing strategies.