Jimmy Wales, the American internet entrepreneur who founded Wikipedia, once said, “If it isn’t on Google, it doesn’t exist.” The same could be said for your business, even if it is a brick and mortar, mom and pop shop at a physical location.
You might be thinking, I have a website, isn’t that enough? Unless your site is search engine optimized, then it is not enough by far. But not all types of search engine optimization will get your site ranked to the top of Google search listings.
Black and White with Few Shades of Gray
Google uses algorithms called Panda and Penguin to help manage search engine rankings. These algorithms do things like eliminate duplicate content, alert the webmaster to spam within their site, and reward websites who use SEO within Google’s guidelines.
Penguin 2.0 went live on 22nd of May, 2013. According to software engineer Matt Cutts, who heads Google’s web spam team, the update to Penguin impacts about 2.3% of the English queries as well as those searched for in some other languages, too.
Cutts remarked in an online discussion,
“It’s a brand new generation of algorithms. The previous iteration of Penguin would essentially only look at the home page on a site. The newer penguin goes much deeper and has a really big impact in small areas.”
How to Escape The Penguin 2.0 Radar
Some websites were not affected at all by the release of Penguin 2.0 and if not for the information in the news, they would not have even been aware of the change. Others enjoyed a boost in rankings, but a number of websites saw a decline in rankings.
These websites that saw a decline were in almost all cases sites that did something to violate Google’s website guidelines. For years Google has promoted the message that if you build a website with great content, then your audience will come and visit.
But unless you are using SEO strategies to influence where you fall in the search rankings, your audience will not even know where to find you, much less visit your website. Here are some ways that you can use SEO without being classified as spam by Penguin 2.0.
- Social Media – Not just a way to share family photos and keep up with high school friends, social media networks are a primary tool in today’s internet marketing. Thanks to re-tweets and shares, when used correctly social media marketing can continue working with no expiration date.
- Backlinks – Backlinks are links that point to a webpage. When you have backlinks that link back to your webpage, you’re telling Google “This is a credible, spam-free website.” It’s a great way to fly beneath Penguin 2.0’s radar and keep your rankings high.
- Content – Penguin 2.0 hates spun content. Unlike rewriting an article, which takes human brain power, article spinning is taking an article and replacing as many words as possible with synonyms. Although it might trick some of the search engines some of the time, if it doesn’t read like a real article, Google will classify it as spam.
Millions of useless webpages, known as spam pages, are created every single day. They use devious methods like keyword stuffing, buying links, or using invisible text on the page to rank high in the search listings.
Spam is Bad News for Good Websites
This is bad news for legitimate sites, like the one for your business, because they get buried far beneath spam in the search engine rankings. It makes your site more difficult for people to locate. And when people cannot your site, they cannot do business with you which affects your bottom line.
If you aren’t sure how to use good SEO tactics, don’t be afraid to consult with or even hire the services of a local seo company to help get you on the right track. They can help you avoid using all types of spam SEO techniques, from the most aggressive to the most obscure.
And if you think you can away with using spam on your site, here is reason to think twice. Since 2005 Google has expanded its spam-fighting team to India, Ireland, Japan, and China. That combined with algorithmic updates like Penguin 2.0 which decreases the rankings of these sites is fighting spam harder than ever.
Below is a video that Matt Cutts posted on YouTube a few weeks before the launch of Penguin 2.0.
Image courtesy of Flickr user: Michael Dorausch
About the Author
Freelance writer Sophie Evans works from home so that she can spend more time with her husband Rick and their two children, a son and a daughter. When she needs a change of scenery she heads to Starbucks where she can get her caffeine fix and use the WiFi to research sites like www.tvsinternetmarketing.com for the articles she writes.