The recent Google Panda and Penguin updates has really shaken up many small business owners and blog owners. People who once had thriving websites that ranked highly on Google SERPs are now faced with the prospect of going out of business or figuring out how to move forward after seeing their precious organic traffic removed without warning. Some private blog networks were also victims to the tune of completely getting put out of business as their blog networks were completely de-indexed, thus destroying the core component of their business model.
Some sites actually benefited from the updates because they moved up in rankings when the other sites endured the wrath of Google. Imagine being a blog owner with a site that gets ten to twenty visitors a month and out of no where the site is now getting hundreds if not thousands of visitors. That's simply the power of Google, but it also underscores the importance of not having all your eggs in one basket. A carefully designed traffic strategy should always rely on receiving traffic from multiple sources. Organic traffic is great, but when you are at risk of the latest update nuking your site and it just doesn't make good sense to focus solely on search traffic.
What Do the Updates Do?
The Penguin and Panda updates were created by Google to target low quality websites that were violating Google's guidelines. To be more specific the list below will give you an idea of the types of things the updates were attempting to filter from Google's search engine.
1. Site's that containg low quality content - This can consist of duplicate content or poorly spun articles., product pages that have no unique information, articles on the same subject as those already written and short articles that add no real value to the website.
2. Spammy sites - Site's that are full of webspam that consist of link schemes, cloaking, keyword stuffing and any tactics that suggest site content can’t stand alone.
3. Over-Optimization - An example of this is a site littered with the same keyword all over the place. There's no relevant content to the keyword and in most cases the page is filled with affiliate links, contextual advertising and any other monetization efforts.
Tips To Succeed
If you have been affected by the updates or you hope to avoid any Google penalties from future updates the following guidelines below should be followed:
1. Be careful with Optimization - Avoid stuffing keywords in every available space on your site in hopes of ranking highly for that keyword.
2. Diversify your Backlink Profile - Ensure that your backlinks come from a variety of sources. Natural backlinks is the best route to go, but many site owners are trying to compete for higher rankings. If you decide to generate backlinks make sure your backlink profile consists of blog posts, guest posting, bookmarks, article directories and links from social networks.
3. Create Quality Content - This is a no brainer. If you create quality content, Google will reward you for it. Also, quality content brings visitors. That's a fact! There's no better way to generate natural backlinks then creating content that people want to link to and share on social websites.
Ranking highly on search engines takes work, but it's not rocket science. The days of cutting corners are over and Google is serious about creating a more quality search experience for its search engine users. Creating quality content is extremely important, but what's even more important is ensuring that you focus your traffic generating efforts from multiple sources.