The “Penguin” algorithm update from Google has certainly taken web spammers down a peg (or SERP ranking) by dishing out penalties for things like overused anchor text and duplicate content. However, it’s not just nefarious websites receiving a penalty. Many well-meaning companies can have spam elements on their site specifically targeted by Penguin. In many cases, these problem areas of a website are a matter of taking some shortcuts with content development. But, there are no shortcuts in quality SEO! If you’re concerned about Penguin penalizing your site, devote some time to these areas:
Titles — To be effective for both user experience and SEO, title tags need to be informative and descriptive. Google has only gotten more critical of title tags — often changing them entirely when a page ranks for certain search results. The title tag is not the place to cram keywords and branding — exactly the kind of thing Penguin is frowning upon. Make sure your titles are true to the theme of their respective pages.
Internal Links — Out of all SEO elements, internal links have probably drawn the most ire of Penguin. When building site content [https://www.morevisibility.com/services-seo-copywriting.php], you are totally in charge of what pages to link to and what anchor text to use. It’s all too easy and tempting to over-link to certain pages and/or continuously use the same anchor text — often a perfectly optimized keyphrase. The same goes for giant page footers filled with internal site links. Overdoing this type of optimization will raise a red flag. Include variety by blending synonyms for your keywords and calls to action in your anchor text.
Back Links — While you have less control over your back links, you should be discerning about them when you can. For your company link building efforts, shoot for variety (with different types of sites, content, and anchor text) and quality (by creating original content for sites that are reputable and relevant to your business).
Content Layout — Of course, your site should be content rich. But when you start repeating yourself, you’re treading on thin ice. Two pages meant to target slightly different versions of the same keyphrase are not helpful to the user and could be flagged by Penguin as being duplicative. Read through your site and ask yourself whether a page really provides new and useful information, or if it just retreads information from another page of your site.
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.