Google are constantly updating their search algorithms to provide you with the most relevant search results. There have been two important releases recently.
In February 2011, they released an updated called Panda. This update is designed to promote the websites that have fresh content with links from other similar sources, and penalise those that don’t!
During April 2012, Google released another update called Penguin. This update is to penalise websites that use ‘black hat’ techniques to boost links and search terms to their websites.
Both of these updates will be refreshed on a regular basis to look for more websites that are breaking their guidelines.
How to avoid being caught out by Google
Using ‘white hat’ techniques such as creating original content and not paying for links will keep your website on the good side of Google; however you should be aware that Google will penalise you if you over-optimise your pages.
The Panda update will penalise websites or pages that have:
- Duplicate content
- Content copied from another source
- Lots of incoming links from irrelevant sources
- Out of date content
The Penguin update will penalise websites or pages that have:
- Lots of keywords stuffed in the footer
- Keywords that are hidden from users
- Links to other pages with obscure naming
- Links to other pages that aren’t relevant to your content
Despite Google penalising websites and search terms, we advise you not to panic. Each refresh of Panda and Penguin will only affect websites that are using bad search engine optimisation tactics like those mentioned above.
To get your pages higher up on Google, consider creating a blog or news section and keep it updated with relevant content. This will keep your website fresh and help build keywords for organic searches.
If you are link building, don’t try to get every website to link to you. Make sure that the other companies and websites are relevant to the content you are posting.
Google search results are also being positively affected by social media shares. Therefore consider adding social buttons to your posts or pages so your visitors can easily share your content with their friends and colleagues.
Remember to focus on creating good content that people will want to read and share.