Google’s Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird updates have shaken up SEO strategies for many webmasters. They are beneficial in that the focus on content is now greater than ever. Users are finding better, higher quality results in their searchers and spam sites that only seek self-promotion through poor content, keyword stuffing and unnatural backlinks are penalized. So, how do you optimize sites after the changes that have resulted from Google’s never ending updates to its algorithms?
If you are going to invest time in an SEO strategy, you have to do it according to Google’s rules, and using their tools is an excellent way to make the best use of your time. Google Analytics is a must-have tool for any webmaster. It shows you some of the very statistics it uses to analyze and rank your page, including the time visitors spend on your site, the bounce rate and the click-through rate.
Google Authorship is a tool that is being emphasized now to increase transparency. Why? Spammers tend to hide behind online monikers. By pairing a name and face with content, writers and webmasters are much more accountable for their work. It boosts your credibility with readers, too. Google+, Google’s social media site, is also useful in promotion and visibility of your content. Your Google+ profile will be connected with your Author profile, and your connections will see your content at the top of their search results even if it does not rank high yet.
Content is not the only thing Google looks at despite the fact that most of their updates are centered on content. Site performance is also a ranking factor. Fast, responsive sites rank higher in the search results than slow sites. User experience is paramount, so make your site easy to navigate, accessible on all devices and above all, fast.
Keywords are still an important part of SEO though there is less focus on them than there used to be. The truth is, however, that randomly babbling on about whatever you want in your content will get you nowhere. Selecting keywords helps you keep your content focused into easily digestible chunks of information. Without keywords to narrow down a topic, content can become too broad and general.
Building links has become particularly challenging since the updates, but that is because Google wants you to build links naturally. How can you do that? As your Digital Marketing Agency has probably told you, content is important. If it is good, people will want to link to it. First, though, you have to get the word out about your content. Guest blogging, social media and press releases are great ways to spread the word and get your content noticed, just be sure to follow the rules about avoiding optimized anchor text.
It is not hard to see that Google will continue to focus their updates around the user experience and creating more relevant, useful search results. As long as you write and build your strategy around the users, you will likely be safe from penalties in the future.