Google Update: 5 SEO Tips You Need To Know
Have you noticed how some sites have dropped drastically on Google? It seems they’ve thrown the cards up in the air again. They’ve changed their algorithm again, going after websites that pump out junk content.
Google has released a major update to its search results ranking algorithm, known internally as the ‘Panda’ Update, but it has picked up the informal label ‘Farmer’ Update’ as it is clearly focussing attention on content farms.
If you’re one of the many that are eager to know exactly what has happened and what you can do to keep your efforts on the right side of Google, here’s what you need to know.
1. Why have Google brought out the Farmer Update?
Google has been listening to a lot of the groans from people who were frustrated by some irrelevant results that were being thrown up, and has moved to drive serve up links to higher quality and relevant sites. Google has been able to identify and penalize sites that ‘scrape’ the content from other sites, sites with low or poor quality content, and sites that lack brand trust and sites with a high ratio of ads to content.
2. How were Google able to make these changes?
To help define the traits of high and low quality sites, Google asked lots of people their opinions such as ‘How relevant is this site to what you were searching for?’, ‘Does this seem a trustworthy site?’, ‘Would you buy anything from this site?’. This information lead to changes in the algorithm that adjusted the Search Engine Results Pages.
3. Is there anything I can do if I my site is now at a lower position on Google?
If by the time you read this there isn’t much of a difference in where your site is on the results pages, there’s probably very little to worry about. However if you were affected significantly and lost position, there’s not an awful lot you can do about it especially if your site fell into the low quality category. This was the intention of Google after all.
If you were not intentionally playing any of the content or ad arbitrage games, then unfortunately you could be one of the tiny number of sites that will be regarded as ‘collateral damage’ of the update.
4. What should I do going forward with regard to my SEO strategy?
If you are one of those who live by the phrase ‘Content is King’ then nothing really changed. Your strategy going forward should remain the same as it was before this update: Build a website that is worth linking to and give it strong, relevant content that adds value to the user experience.
Play by the Google rules to improve your site. Remove any copied or scraped content, add your own unique high-quality content, take a good look at the amount of advertisements on each page of your site, and sever ties with any questionable link partners.
5. What is the alternative to Content Farms?
Find your audience organically and help drive them your way along many of the avenues that are really worth your time investment such as blogs and blogging, social networks, direct referring links, Q & A sites, podcasting, forums, online video, PR, and comment marketing to name just a few.
About the author
Simon Davies is Managing Director of Roodee, a Chester based marketing firm that specializes in web design, search engine optimisation, video for business and mixing up on-line and off-line marketing.