Although many people have heard about Google’s Penguin Algorithm updates and know that they can have a large impact on their website’s presence within Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs), many of those same people aren’t aware of issues that may cause a website to be affected by them. While there are many things that can cause your website’s presence to be affected by these updates, we have seen one common pain point within the SEO industry. This is when websites have inbound links from site-wide elements that do not fall within Google’s Quality Guidelines.
Site-wide links include any link that can be found on every page of a website. These are often contained within a website’s site-wide footer or sidebar. For example, if site A has a link to a page on site B within its site-wide footer, this would create a link on every page of site A pointing to the page on site B. When this occurs, a new link to the page on site B is created any time site A creates a new page on its site. This can result in thousands to hundreds of thousands of links being created that originate from one website and point to a single page.
One common case is when a website has site-wide inbound links from partner websites. To be clear, this is not always problematic, but if the linking is done improperly it can become problematic. One of the reasons that this type of site-wide inbound link can be problematic is that there can be large fluctuations in the amount of inbound links originating from one domain. For example if site A is an ecommerce website with hundreds of thousands of pages and contains a site-wide link to site B, there could be thousands of links lost or gained each week based upon how often site A updates it’s product pages. When there are such large fluctuations in a site’s inbound link portfolio, Google’s algorithm will likely take notice.
If you are utilizing a website for your business, and especially if you are utilizing multiple websites, it is extremely important to consistently check your inbound link portfolio. You can find out more information about who is linking to your website in our blog post about Google Webmaster Tools. If you notice a large amount of inbound links originating from a single domain, it is important to take a closer look. Ensure that any site-wide inbound links fall within Google’s quality guidelines and consider having an SEO professional analyze all of the inbound links pointing to your website.
When someone reads a newspaper article online, there is normally a picture of the author/journalist above or next to that article. What would happen if everyone had their faces posted by article they have written? We could be closer to that happening than you think because Google+ is helping to make this a reality.
Google+ members who publish an article, and link to it in their Google+ account are standing out in Google’s organic listings. It’s one thing for a person’s article to appear in the organic listings, it’s an even greater bonus when your name and picture show up next to it. Look at the example below. This article has a picture of the author right next to it along with their name. It definitely makes it stand out from the other listings.
The organic listing links to the website where the article was originally published and the picture links to the author’s Google+ account.
This can be utilized as a great SEO tool for businesses. For example let’s say the CEO for company A, which is a home improvement store, publishes blogs monthly. The CEO also has a Google+ account. Every time the CEO posts a blog to company A’s website, he links to it through his Google+ account. As people are searching the web for home improvement they come across the blog in the organic listings. It stands out because there is a picture next to it, and it seems to be related to what they are searching for. After clicking on the organic listing, they read the blog and proceed to do business with Company A. Company A received several benefits. First they received a sale. Second they improved their SEO value when the CEO linked to the blog. Third their blog drove traffic to the website which brought in a sale.
Many companies could benefit SEO-wise from this Google+ feature. In fact, it’s all the more reason to blog and publish articles. There’s no word yet, if this capability will be given to individual companies (once Google+ opens up to companies), so it’s good to have a company representative(s) who can post and link to articles that they have written on the company’s behalf.
I love it when art and science come together. Maybe that is why I am so enthusiastic about SEO and the possibilities of the internet in general. Case in point, the other day I found the periodic table of SEO, courtesy of Search Engine Land. What this little piece of scientific art is showing is a formula for SEO success, based on ranking factors that search engines look for when crawling your website.
The table highlights fundamental ranking factors for on-site and off-site optimization strategies. Likewise, the document sheds light into search engine violations and any blocking by users, via Google’s newly released hiding feature.
The table offers a numerical breakdown of the factors in the upper right-hand corner of each element — a spinoff of the traditional Periodic Table. The numbers (1-3) are meant to indicate the level of importance of each element with “1” being least important and “3” representing the highest.
Some of the listed elements are as follows:
On-Page SEO Ranking Factors:
– Content Quality and Research — are your pages well written and has keyword research been done?
– HTML Tiles, Description, and Keywords (Meta Data) — does your meta data contain the keywords and do they describe the page?
Off-Page SEO Ranking Factors:
– Link Quality — are your links from trusted and reputable websites?
– Trust/Authority — do your links and shares make your site trustworthy?
– Thin Content — is you content more generic and lacking substance?
– Keyword Stuffing — are you excessively stuffing keywords in your content?
This document is both extremely informative and creative. The challenge is following it and optimizing your website to the letter. That, like the SEO document, is both an art and a science.