Change has been rampant as of late in the world of digital marketing, and the Google Panda update had a new partner they like to call Penguin. Google had been warning of a new algorithm update to discipline over-optimized sites and that is exactly what Penguin did. Here is a quick, easy to read list of some of the tactics the latest algorithm doesn’t like, as Anvil has noticed a lot of panic out there on the streets (but for some reason not from our clients if that tells you anything about the quality of work we have going on over here).
1. Keyword Stuffing – This one makes perfect sense and is an expansion on Google’s already established guidelines about creating quality content. Honestly, I am surprised that this isn’t something that Google took out quite some time ago. So please, beware of the keyword density in your content and don’t create keyword heavy content when you are building links from outside sources. When all is said and done, if you got hit by this one, you are a certified spammer creating horrible content. It is nice to know that Google is at least attempting to get these kind of people out of the way and out of the search results.
2. Irrelevant Links – Again, this one is going after the obvious spam. Examples we have seen include links to pay day loan sites coming from articles that are supposed to be about healthy cooking. Do you guys see any kind of correlation there? Although I am sure that many of you are not taking part in this practice, it is a good clue for the future. Don’t try to get too sneaky when it comes to relevance. One of the powers an algorithm carries is the ability to identify keywords and themes. As Google recommends, don’t try to hide links or get too tricky with relevance.
3. Stay Away From Automated Queries – This is one of the primary methods of dealing with online reputation, so you need to be careful if you are ever trying to get your page to show up or disappear for any given phrase. It is easy for Google to see patterns when it comes to automated search queries, so if you are going to try this at all, you are going to need to be creative with your timing. Simply placing an order with a tool like Mechanical Turk might not be the best idea.
4. It is Finally Time to Take Care of that Duplicate Content – If the content from one page matches the content on another, Google is going to get a little bit feisty. There is no reason for you to allow this one your domain, as it not only shows Google that you are trying to take a shortcut, but that you are a bit complacent as well. One thing to pay attention to though is that duplicate content can be created by a bug, or a malicious code placed intentionally by your competition or a hacker. If you notice duplicate content and know for a fact it wasn’t you, it is time to admit to yourself that your website has indeed been hacked.
Please pardon the somewhat assertive tone, but there is good reason behind it. The first is that spammers are bad people, and I don’t like them at all. Therefore it is easy for me to attack some of their more obvious practices, because they sometimes make no sense at all. The second is that Google is getting serious, and in all honesty there are some good people with quality sites that have been wronged by these updates. The lesson is, keep a close eye on your site and keep a close eye on the news. If you get dinged by Google and know the reasons, I don’t feel bad for you, but if you get wronged by the giant I highly recommend you give me a call so we can help you get this thing figured out.