Post Penguin SEO Strategies
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is actually one of my favorite subjects. Even after the notorious Google Panda and Penguin update, SEO is still my secret weapon that I like to include in my overall internet marketing traffic strategies.
I have many subscribers who are heavily into doing SEO, and I often got asked on whether there are any best practices one can adhere to so they can survive thru all the disturbing SEO algorithm updates, especially by Google.
The truth is Google dominate the number one spot according to traffic popularity by Alexa, and it has a market share of 60% when comes to search. So, if you are not using SEO as part of your traffic mix, you might be losing out on some quality traffic.
But is SEO dead? In my opinion, SEO is still alive and stronger than ever. The challenge is how do you cope with the ever changing SEO landscape ?
Are You SEO Correctly?
You know what!! For some reason I don’t fear Google.
I guess it would have to go back to the early days when gaining top rankings was brain-dead easy. If you remember those days one can easily swap link and gain top ranking. Some called it link exchange. But those days have gone.
There are so many changes going on when comes to search engine marketing. SEO is more competitive than before since Google has taken an aggressive approach in cleaning out junk on the internet by fine tuning their algorithms to filter all sorts of spun content and junk links to improve better user experience.
Despite Google clearly said that they want quality website, there are still many SEO companies out there using the same old techniques trying to rank their customer sites without knowing that they are putting their customer website into red zone.
What Do Google Want?
Put it a simple way: What Google wants is quality. Both quality content and quality backlink. The equation is so simple that many marketers still couldn’t get it.
I like to think of Google as an informational rich digital library. And like any offline libraries, general public can find useful information about topics, or subjects they are interested in learning by searching thru the web.
Nevertheless, book libraries would be useless without using any top notch book indexing system for better classification of the books they collected. Thanks to the Dewey Decimal System, librarian can easily assigns a number to the book that makes it easy to locate by reader. When it comes to the online World, the principle is same.
Google sole purpose is to make its search function user friendly, so you can easily to locate information through the web. Google engineers rely on sophisticated mathematical formulas that narrow down a top-ten selection of websites deemed most appropriate to the search term entered by a user. So, the most quality pages will often show up on the top pages defined by Google standard.
Despite all the algorithm changes lately, Google didn’t get it 100% right but they are getting closed. Google’s continued to improve its algorithm aim to improve best user experience. That being said when users are searching for the latest information online, Google will present this data to the user according to their search criteria. And I always believe that the best content will always rank by Google power by quality backlink and social proof.
How to Survive After Google Penguin?
In the online World, Google’s role is same as an offline librarian, they want to help you find what you’re looking for and unless they have a high rate of success user will go elsewhere. That being said, SEO is not dead but live and growing strong.
To survive and compete in the ever changing search environment, you need to work with Google instead of going against it. Here are my 7 strategies I personally use to combat with the new SEO landscape and stay ahead of my competition. The strategies have been working for me, and If you do what I say, you should less worry about big G.
1) Don’t Try to Fool With Search Engine
Stay away from blackhat SEO. With the introduction of Penguin, Google nowadays care much about where your backlinks are coming from. That being said quality of your backlink is equally important as your on page content. eg, If you have 100 Spun content articles out there with 100 backlinks pointing to your site vs. 10 quality original articles posted on trusted 3rd party authority sites, who do you think Google will give most vote to?
Bear in mind, Google has the ability to rank gazillions of web pages everyday. Recently, they rolled out another not very pleasant EMD update during Sept 27th, 2012, which unfortunately caused
some collateral damage to a few legitimate sites. If you are one of the victims and do believe you did nothing wrong, then there is nothing to be panic about. Every time there is an algo update it will take a couple of weeks for the dusk to settle. If you are doing everything correctly to diversify your anchor texts and maintain the quality of your backlink, then you will NOT receive a penalty.
Same as Panda, Penguin is a site wide penalty. So, most likely your site is going thru Google dance and should recover in time. As long as you continue to add fresh quality content to your site, lower your bounce rate and add a few quality backlinks to your site, you should see recover in 4-5 weeks time.
2) Quality Content is Still Key
The days of thin website or scrapped content are long gone. In fact, I’ve been preaching the importance of “quality” content since day one. If you are not a good writer, then outsource to have someone to do the job for you. Quality begins with professional English native writing style of article, which is why I only hire native English writers. You can hire good writer from elance.com or freelancer.com.
Nevertheless, you can choose to write your own article if you are the expert in your niche possessing fair amount of knowledge in the subject manner.
3) Proper Titles Tags & Descriptions Optimization
Your on page article still need to be written with proper keyword optimization in mind. Nevertheless, you have to keep user in mind while writing your article. Think user first not search engine. Do not keyword stuffing your content. Instead, spread out with a few LSI keywords.
These are the essential clues Google needs to classify your site. Don’t underestimate the power of LSI. eg- if your page is about puppy training, you should use LSI like housebreaking a puppy, puppy potty training etc. Google will naturally understand your page is about puppy training and reward you in the long run.
4) SILO Your Site Properly
Nowadays Google algorithm is smart enough to crawl for relevant information on the web. To make your website standup, you have to learn how to use internal linking correctly. Interlink your content wisely, and only interlink when the subject manner is related.
In fact, a silo structure is always preferred by search engine spider as they craw your site according to the overall page layout. If you have a site full of content but do not have a proper silo structure or internal linking strategy, then Google will look at it as content farm, and sooner or later a sitewide Panda penalty will be imposed on your site.
Google scans your pages from the top to bottom. The algorithm, which operates at nano-second speed, scan your page by first looking at the overall site structure and deep craw into each relevant pages and posts. It assigns a lower priority to pages that take too long to get the point across. So, if you have a page that fill with sponsor advertisement materials, chances are you will eventually drop in ranking.
5) Bounce Rate Does Matter
Google increasingly factors in the length of time visitors stay on a page. The last thing you want is for a visitor to land on a page, found through a search query, only to bounce because they saw nothing that grabbed their interest right away. As a result, you need a strong headlines, implementing Youtube video marketing on your site, or interlink strategy to decrease the bounce rate.
6) Quality Backlink
Do Google gives heavy discount on backlink nowadays? The answer is YES to junk link, NO to quality backlink.
Backlinking is still an important aspect of the overall strategy how search engine will rank your page. Without a proper backlinking strategy you might as well forget about having enough traffic to make money even if you do everything else right.
To date, Google is still the pioneer in organic search just like Facebook is the forefront when comes to social media marketing. A good website will always have a good combination of natural inbound and outbound links. If you are solely betting your link effort on article marketing, you will be in trouble sooner or later. Article marketing focuses much of its effort in creating outbound links instead of balancing with inbound link. So gradually, these link will lose power and discount by search engine overtime thus lead to ranking drop and lose of page rank.
Bear in mind, your backlink need to come from a site that have equal amount of internal link not just outbound link. That is what most of the SEO companies fail to address these days:)
7) Social Proof
With the emerge of new technologies like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Stumble upon and Pinterest. Apart from quality backlink, now Google is looking at social media marketing vote as well! The more your posts are shared by webmaster, the better these pages got vote. If your content is written with user in mind, the information will be syndicated naturally by users via Facebook, Twitter etc.
Bear in mind, Google authorship setup is also important as Google is looking at originality of your content based on your author profile link! So make sure you do setup your Google plus account properly!
In Conclusion: My Thought on SEO
In my opinion, old school SEO still works like a charm. SEO is not dead but more vibrant than ever. Forget about the power of how software can do for your business. If you want to stay in the game for long, only do what Google loves.
These days, I will only recommend to do SEO by approaching 3rd party trusted site owner and in exchange of link back to mysite by offering them good quality content or so called guess blogging. The practice is pretty straight forward, but no one else is doing this due to the nature of laziness.
If you stick to the above 7 strategies, you have nothing to be afraid of. Every time there is an algorithm update, my site becomes stronger because I gives what Google wants:) See, if quality can easily be obtained, then every one will choose to do so. The drawback with SEO is many people are looking for shortcut. People choose to take risk and bet on blog network or mass article distribution hoping to rank higher on Google. You might get away with it now, but you will get penalize with another Google update.
In closing, if you give Google what they want, you will survive for many years to come. Always keep in mind: Quality Content + Quality Backlink = Google Love.
Fear no Google my friend:)