Have you heard about Google’s most recent algorithm update? It’s called Penguin and the last one was called Panda. The purpose of these algorithm updates is to enforce Google’s webmaster guidelines. In case you were unaware, Google pretty much tells you what they want to see in a website in order to get good rankings. Often times people push the envelope, and frankly go over the edge with their “optimization” and so Google has to make an adjustment to “slap” those sites and reduce the rankings they have artificially obtained.
Someone recently asked me what my team and I were doing about the latest Penguin update and my answer was “nothing.” By this, I meant I was not going to do anything different than I have been doing because we don’t push the envelope with Google. We know that slow and steady wins the race. It’s often difficult to explain this to prospective customers, but these kind of events help. When people see that those who try to “speed up” the SEO process often lose in the end.
Getting good online rankings comes down to a few things:
1. Having the right keywords in the right places on your website. Specifically the title tags and the content. Meta tags don’t matter and if someone tries to tell you they do, save your money. Also, write your content for people, not search engines. Write something compelling; something you would want to read.
2. Getting the right kinds of links to your website. These include
- Trusted directories (paid directories, industry directories, and associations are good places to start.)
- Press mentions such as press releases and being quoted by the media.
- Links from industry sites such as any articles or white papers you publish on trusted sites.
- Links from blogs which can be obtained by writing a guest blog post.
This is a start and the other key is to not over use anchor text. Just do what is natural when it comes to links. Most people would link your business name or just post your URL, so those should be what Google mostly sees.
3. Local citations. Make sure you claim your local listings such as Google and Bing even if you serve a national or international audience. Why? Because it’s what is expected and because national includes local.
4. Social Media Mentions. Social media matters and another evidence of this is that the new version of Google Analytics tracks social media mentions. Additionally, if you aren’t yet on Google Plus, you need to be because Google announced earlier this year that it would be a ranking factor.
5. Video Marketing. I launched a video marketing challenge a few months back and the reason is that video has an impact on your rankings in several ways. The most obvious of which is the fact that your videos (if titled well) can come up in the search results.
The bottom line is that you’ve got to play by the rules and be patient to reap the rewards of good rankings on Google. If you need professional assistance, please contact me and I would be happy to discuss how I can help you.