Google Penguin Update

The most recent buzz in the SEO world is the latest update called “google penguin”. If you are familiar with SEO then you will see a lot of people complaining, and for good reason. However they have yet to do anything to fix it. Instead if you were affected by google penguin you need to re-valuate your site and look at your on-page optimization. One of the main reasons for the update was to catch people trying too hard to optimize their site. This means people abusing the “h” tags and keyword stuffing. Google wants to see natural websites, they don’t want a ranking system where people are going by algorithm. This means when creating your site, concentrate on making content people want to read rather than what you think google will rank.

Let’s break everything down…

Keyword Stuffing

Stuffing keywords on your site even before penguin came along was a bad idea. This shows yor are trying to hard to rank the keyword. Only use the keyword a couple of times in bold, once in the title, once in an <h1> tag  and once in the META Description. This all brings the point up about abusing your “H” tags. Stop using them excessively, you don’t have to! Having a site with the same keyword 50 times on the front page looks very spammy and we all know Google hates spam!

Creating Multiple Pages About the Same Subject

Stop making pages about the same thing over and over again. It should be explained in one post. If you want more content on your site then make it about keywords closely related to the subject. This comes down to site experience, you don’t want someone reading different versions of an article that is about basically the same thing every time. This gives the user a bad experience and that is what Google looks for.

Bounce Rate

The bounce rate of your site can also be a key factor in where your site ranks. Having a high bounce rate is telling Google that the user’s experience on your site is not very good because they are quickly clicking off of your page. If you have a bounce rate of 70%+ then you need to rework and figure out why people are not staying on your site. It could be multiple reasons, anything  from having too many advertisements to having a bad website design that is hard to navigate.

Link Exchanges

Link exchanging was a big no-no even before the penguin update. I noticed a lot of people were complaining on Google webmaster forums about losing rankings and when they showed an example of the website it either had a page called something like “links.html”, with over 50 do-follow links pointing to other site,s or they had links in the footer. If you want to have some links to friends’ sites then feel free to put them in the footer with a no-follow attribute, but do not go around link exchanging with lots of people. If you do then don’t cry when you get caught!

Page Speed

Site page speed is another important factor. If your site is loading slowly then who is going to want to browse and wait? Not many people. Improve your sites page speed and this will also increase your bounce rate and user experience.

Duplicate Content

This is one of the biggest things you should not do. Do not take content from other webmaster sites and copy them to your site. The first reason is that it is not ethical. The second reason is Google will detect this right away. This is true not only site to site, but on multiple pages of the same site as well. Do not use the same content on every page, Google bots treat each page as different so if you had the same content on mysite/a.html and mysite/b.html, they will treat this as duplicate content

Off-page SEO

Link and anchor text diversity. Creating  1,000 backlinks with the anchor text “dog training” to your site is going to look bad. How many people will actually do an exact match keyword to your site? It is going to slow your ranking process down. Instead, start creating anchor text like “Dog training here” “My dog training video” “”. Keep it natural and diverse.

This article sums up some of the key points I find are important but there are many more that you need to look into, if you want to look more in depth then visit Search Engine watches blog post.

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