Having read all about the latest algorithm update from Google, you think “Meh, that will not affect my website because I only use white hat strategies for optimization.”
But when you log in to your Google Analytic account, you notice a huge drop in your traffic, right around the time that Penguin was released. And then, you receive a letter from Google team, stating that your website has been penalized.
What then? Should you get rid of your domain and give up?
Of course not. It is not the end of the world. Though it may seem like it, you can still recover from this “tragedy” by focusing on Penguin-friendly tactics. To point you in the right direction, read these concepts and be intimately familiar with all of them.
Organic vs Inorganic Links:
A lot of “white hat” websites were drastically affected with the release of the Penguin updates. Their link building strategies were, although Google and other search engines didn’t mind at first, now considered “unnatural” and “suspicious”.
Apparently, social media optimization for link building is not what it was cut out to be.
But at least we now know what Google really wants ‘natural links’. Their search algorithms are premised on this concept and it is what will help your website recover.
What exactly are “natural” links?
These are organic and real inbound or outbound links on your website. As a simple example, if you like a certain page on a website, you link to it that’s natural. And that’s what Google wants.
Admittedly, all types of link building are “unnatural” to Google’s eyes, especially if they are achieved through SEO campaigns. The trick is to make them look as natural as possible. And more importantly, you have to prioritize high-quality over high-quantity links; otherwise, your optimization efforts will go to waste.
Quality vs. Quantity of Content:
You hear the phrase “quality over quantity” almost anywhere you go. You hear it at the office, at school, and even from grocery store clerks promoting fresh produce.
If you happen to hear it in the same sentence with “SEO”, it mainly focuses on the content of your website. But note that these are not just limited to written posts because these also include the photos, videos, audio files, and even flash presentations on your pages.
In a gist, content is the backbone of your site.
You may be well aware that Panda, another search engine update from Google, focuses on this aspect, which begs the question “why should I still focus on this one”?
A short answer: because content and links rely on each other. You place your links organically on content AND you make your content based on your links. They basically have a symbiotic relationship—one cannot survive without the other.
What constitutes Quality Content?
We will not get into the nitty-gritty details of each because these three are fairly understandable:
Amongst bloggers, website owners, and SEO practitioners, this is an important element that all of us should practice. Would you want your own work to be used and claimed as anothers? Of course not. So do the same for other writers as well by coming up with original and facts-based ideas.
You say that “original” topics are running low these days—everyone is writing about something and, pretty soon, we will have nothing to write about. This is a wrong assumption.
You can never run out of ideas or approaches to topics and subjects. Even if it is something as simple as football shoes or as complex as the Penguin update, you can still be creative and present the theme in a whole new light, one that your audience will enjoy. In a gist, let your creative juices flow.
Every website has a niche. It could be your business niche, the theme of your online site, or the recurring concept for your blog. Focus only on these and do not let the lure of “trendy” topics digress you from having relevant, useful, and informative articles for your audiences.
Organic vs. Stuffed Keywords:
Having already discussed the importance of content and relevancy to your niche, we will now talk about aiming your content to the people who are “searching” for it.
Keywords. What exactly are they?
Simply put, these are words, phrases, and even acronyms that are related to the niche of your website. It could literally be anything. For example, if your blog is about your recent participation in Muay Thai workouts, your keywords are “combat sports”, “Muay Thai techniques”, “combat Sports in Thailand”, etc.
Now how is this related to the Penguin update?
Links are the main focus of this algorithm modification. Quality is, of course, key here. But other than that, organic placement and arrangement of links on your pages also play a role. This is where keywords come in. They can be your anchor texts for your posts or they can be hyperlinks .
Focus on “natural” link and keyword pairing. It will not make sense to readers and Google bots if you hyperlink the keyword SEO to a sports website.
Guest Posts vs. Spamming:
You may think that you are running low on optimization options because of the Penguin update. Again, this is a wrong assumption.
There are tons of ways for you to build your link profile organically. One of them is guest posting.
How does this work?
It is a fairly simple premise. Blog owners who have a stable fan base allow other bloggers to post as “guests” on their blogs, giving them the chance to appeal to a specific audience and generate traffic on their website. And best of all, it allows guest authors to get quality inbound links on their own site. It is a win-win situation that you definitely must take advantage of.
Interaction vs. Promotion:
Of course you have heard of social media. Who hasn’t?
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc., are social networking platforms that are vastly and rapidly dominating the Web. Facebook itself is garnering over 900 million users, with Twitter following in at over 500 million users.
With these impressive numbers, it only makes sense that marketers like us would use these outlets as well.
But note that we should still be cautious when using them. Social media users are extremely fickle and choosy. Outright and in-your-face advertisements may discourage them from clicking on your posted links, while engaging and interesting/entertaining posts with links may entice them to visit your site.
It is a subtle way of promotion that does not only market your site effectively, but also helps build your link profile efficiently.
Readers vs. Clickers:
I do not have to expound on this too much because it is relatively easy to understand.
What you want are browsers who will be loyal to your site, not just accidental clickers. You want an audience, and you want them to help spread the word that “Hey! Here is a site that’s worth checking out.” In a gist, you want a stable readership.
To do that, you simply must focus on the quality of your articles, the reliability of your links, and the overall appeal of your website.
So what’s next?
Be patient and wait for results. Though it may take some time and effort for these SEO techniques to take root, they are definitely worth it!