New Google Algorithm Update: Will your site get penalized?

Date: Mon, 03/19/2012 - 10:48

New Google Algorithm Update

Google is pushing live yet another game changing update in the coming weeks, according to Matt Cutts (head engineer at Google Search).  This update to the famous “Googlebot”will penalize sites that “over-optimize” for prime Google results. 

According to Mr. Cutts; “We try to make the GoogleBot smarter, try to make our relevance more adaptive, so that if people don't so SEO we handle that. And we are also looking at the people who abuse it, who put too many keywords on a page, exchange way too many links, or whatever else they are doing to go beyond what you normally expect. We have several engineers on my team working on this right now.”

So how will this affect your web business?  Below are a few questions to ask your SEO or your dev team to prepare with some actionable items you can do to prepare.

1 – Keyword Overstuffing.

Do you have landing pages filled with keywords in every possible area? If your site repeats your keywords multiple times in your body content you could be at risk.

Solution:

Your content should read well to someone at the 5th grade level and should be written for your visitors, not the search engines. Every major landing page on your site that ranks well now should be revisited and tweaked if necessary. Change your content to focus on sales and helpful advice.

2 – Semantic Content.

Do you have semantically relevant content on your site? Part of this new algorithm update is made to deliver content that is more semantically accurate. As an example, do a search for “tours of Petra” and look at the bottom of Google for the “searches related to tours of petra”.  You’ll see people are also interested in tours of “wadi rum”, how to get there from Israel, Amman, and Jerusalem.   This is what Google considers as topically similar or “semantic” for “tours of Petra”.  You can drill down even further by following one of the links for related searches and seeing what is relevant to that search.  If you don’t provide content around these area’s on your landing page or within “one click” (one link away) from your landing page you may be at risk.

Solution:

Search Google for your main keywords and take a deeper look at the related searches. Come up with ideas for content, guides, and information that can benefit your sites visitors. If you were a tour operator for Petra, you might consider a section on your landing page that discusses “Wadi Rum” and suggested tour operators for that area . You might create an article about how to get to Petra from Israel, Eilat, or Jerusalem.

Creating helpful content will keep visitors on your site, create more opportunity for people to link to your content, and make your site look more relevant for your chosen keywords. 

3 – Links.

Do you exchange links or pay a SEO company to promote your site? If so, it is time for a thorough review of your link strategy.  If you have a links page where you currently trade links with many different websites, you can be at risk. If your SEO Company is spamming the web with keyword focused anchor text, this could also get Google’s attention.  Also, like the above mentioned example company, if your focus was to rank for “Petra Tours” and all your inbound links use the anchor text of  “Petra Tours” or similar topics you could be at risk.

Solution:

If you have reciprocate links, revisit your links page or remove it entirely. This is an ancient practice and shouldn’t be used in the first place. It is natural to link out to some sites, but it should be done naturally (like in the body content of an article, or blog post). You should never have a links page that just links to anyone in your industry that is willing to link back to you.

Also, if your SEO Company is building links for you. Have a look at their reports and their plan. If your backlink profile is all keyword driven and you don’t have more inbound links for your brand, like “companyname.com”, “company”, http://www.domain.com then their strategy needs to be altered or you need to hire someone who uses a better approach; like us.

This update should be great addition if implemented well. Google should remove lots of the spam creating better opportunity for legitimate small businesses. Website owners who invest time in their content, design, and most importantly (their visitors) will benefit.  If you need help with your SEO strategy contact us today for a free assessment and analysis of your current site.

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