Beyond Google Penguin
In April this year, the release of Google Penguin changed the course of online search by punishing websites that were over-optimised with a lower search ranking. The algorithm represented the newest phase in the search giant’s move away from clunky, keyword-heavy SEO practices and towards content that is quality, user-friendly and relevant.
The new update also targeted link spam – a search marketing strategy that aims to manipulate search rankings by link stuffing and links by paid third parties. Although it’s difficult to predict life beyond Google Penguin, the update did hold some important clues about the way the search landscape might evolve. Here are some predictions.
Over-optimisation will be penalised in the future
Both the Penguin and Panda updates punished businesses that over-optimised their website with lower search rankings, and this theme is bound to gather steam in the future. This means that if you keyword-stuff your link anchor texts, website content or meta data, it’s time to revise your practices before your online discoverability reaches new lows. Remember, Google focuses on content that is natural, relevant and user-focused – websites that attempt to outsmart this new missive will pay the price.
Quality content will continue to drive the web
Engaging, relevant content that aims to be useful to users is your biggest asset when it comes to gaining the advantage in online search. Google’s recent updates have favoured websites that invest in content and aim to deliver value to customers – a trend that ties into the search giant’s larger move towards a more personalised version of the web.
White hat SEO is the only way forward
If recent history is anything to go by, Google has an uncanny ability to unearth businesses dabbling in keyword-stuffing, backlinking and other instances of black hat SEO. Safeguarding your SEO future will hinge on your ability to link to relevant, credible sources, focus on high-quality content and embrace blogs and microsites that generate traffic and create value for users.
It’s no secret that Penguin has shaken up SEO and is paving the way for a host of new search marketing practices. What measures have you taken to prepare yourself for life beyond Penguin?
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