Steering Clear of Google’s Panda & Penguin Updates

Google PenguinIt’s evident that Google rolls out new algorithm updates frequently, and it seems the public makes a big deal every time proclaiming that it’s the “end of SEO as we know it”.  However, no matter the number of articles written or updates Google makes, SEO will continue to survive and prosper.

Search engine optimization has not vanished, but Google’s Panda and Penguin updates have clearly altered the optimal SEO practices.  It is difficult to know where Google will go next, but there are a few items we can learn from their most recent updates.

1)      Overly-Optimized Sites will continue to be Targeted.  Google has already taken great steps to stop sites that intentionally manipulate natural search engine result pages (SERPs).  There is no doubt that future algorithm changes will be designed to punish websites that have been overly optimized.

 

Unfortunately, there is no way to know what metrics Google is tracking when identifying over-optimization.  It is also impossible to draw a line between effective SEO practices and overly-optimizing your site.  For the time being, the best practices involve focusing on quality content for your website- not over engaging in intricate SEO techniques designed to boost your PageRank quickly.

 

2)      Visitor Engagement is Important.  Google awards better rankings for sites in which visitor engagement is apparent.  As before, there is no clear way of analyzing what specific metrics Google will use to do this.  A few things webmasters should focus on gaining are:

  • Presence of customer reviews
  • Article/blog comments
  • Social networking follow-up

 

3)      Content Quality Significance will Increase.  Today, too many webmasters rely on keyword-optimized or copied-and-pasted content to fill their website pages.  If your site was unaffected by the most recent updates, don’t assume it will remain that way.  Build up quality content now in order to preserve your PageRank and protect your site from future changes down the road.