How your website can keep the search engines happy

It would appear that keeping on the right side of Google is becoming ever more difficult with their Panda and Penguin algorithms knocking some very big websites out of the organic rankings. In order to make sure that your site does not fall foul of the algorithms it is important to understand what they are and how they work so that you can Google proof your website. Having good quality unique content on your website goes a long way to keeping the search engines happy.

Are you frightened of Pandas and Penguins? If your business and website was severely affected by Google’s algorithm changes in 2012, you might be. I have talked to numerous clients who have lamented how much their traffic dwindled as a direct result of those changes. Many have told me how they’re scared to do anything with their website for fear of future issues, and not a few have refused to ever speak to an “SEO Expert” again.

Fortunately, there are definitely steps that a business can take to not only improve their ranking within Google search, but also avoid potential issues with the next major algorithm change that Google will inevitably release.

1. Follow The Rules

Perhaps this goes without saying, but any attempt by a business to “outsmart” Google should be considered ridiculous. Do not do anything with your website that you even think, maybe, just might, be contrary to what Google wants you to do. A good rule of thumb for the average business owner might be, if you’re thinking about Search Engines instead of Customers with whatever it is you’re doing, do your homework first. There certainly are optimization techniques that can and should be implemented, that are perfectly acceptable. For that, you’re going to want to talk to a reputable internet marketing agency (I will blog about how to identify a great SEO company another time).

If you’re interested in learning for yourself, start by reading some of our Search Engine Optimization articles here, and then head over to SearchEngineLand.com, where Danny Sullivan has put together an amazing team of writers. SearchEngineWatch.com is another resource for information that I would recommend without question.

2. Do Not Buy Links

Some time ago, Google thought it would be a good idea to monitor how many times other websites chose to create a link to your website. These are called backlinks, and the rationale was that if a website was willing to link to you, they must like or support you in some way, so Google considered that a vote of confidence. The more links you had, the better your site must be, right?

But of course, like anything else, some people saw that as an opportunity to be exploited. Businesses sprang up overnight that offered websites hundreds and thousands of links. They might identify, for instance, discussion forum software in foreign countries like Russia where a simple script would allow the automated creation of hundreds of user profiles, all including some text and one or more links. For a few bucks, you could suddenly have thousands of links back to your site that Google would count and reward you for.

Well, obviously, when Google saw what was going on they put the kibosh on it. Whether you like Google or not, the fact is, most of what they do is designed to create a better set of search results for Google users. Google figured out how to eliminate websites that allowed those kinds of links, and thereby eliminate millions of links to other websites, which is why, literally overnight, many businesses plummeted in Google search results. Click here to continue

Further information

Applying for a ‘position’ with Google – then and now

How to create website content that Google likes and your customers love