Since the release of Google’s latest web-based algorithm Penguin, there have been many questions as to how this new program will affect link building and overall search engine optimisation (SEO) functionality. To understand what impact this new addition will have, let us first examine what Penguin is designed to do.
Google’s Penguin update is aimed primarily at curtailing the amount of spam and blind links encountered across the web. This content can clog up search results and post suggestions of lesser quality than one desires. While many internet surfers are happy with these new security features, questions have arisen as to how SEO needs to be changed to fit this new design. In fact, the adaptations required are actually quite easy to employ; the key is knowing what and what not to do. Let us examine a few of the main points that Google Penguin addresses and how they relate back to SEO techniques.
This is the process by which a website will literally “stuff” certain keywords into the body of a text in order to manipulate a site’s ranking. These methods can result in a profoundly negative user experience. The site itself may also be downgraded in Google’s ranking system. The simple solution is to not use this method at all. Instead, employ information-rich content that is easy to access and uses keywords placed sparingly while in the relevant context. Also, remember this: if the body of a text is stuffed with too many keywords, it can appear contrived and “blocky” to many readers, further lessening the appeal of a webpage.
Present quality links.
Google’s anti-spam policy applies here in particular. Poorly chosen or irrelevant links will give a more unnatural appearing link profile. Sites with similar focuses, themes and keywords should be used. Use a variety of links, as return traffic from those sites can also benefit yours. To accomplish this, create other blog sites that refer directly back to the original and network with other sites in your specific niche. Any links which are considered off-topic may fall under Penguin’s radar and bring negative attention to the page.
Clean up the appearance of the website.
Web surfers rarely enjoy opening a site and finding themselves inundated with pop-ups and flashy, irrelevant ads. A general rule of thumb is that no more than forty percent of a site should consist of banners, links, or other such material. This will create a more pleasant user experience which will bring in consistent web traffic while adhering to the Penguin guidelines.
Highlight when it is appropriate.
This may run a bit parallel with avoiding keyword manipulation, but from a syntactical point of view it should be highlighted. One of the main goals of Google Penguin is to make the average reader’s experience more relevant and pleasant. While keyword stuffing has always been frowned upon, there are still no restrictions in regards to highlighting a certain word or text. In fact, with this update it is recommended that you highlight certain phrases or whole sentences.
Take a look at the anchor text.
This text is used to create what are called hyperlinks, or clickable links which take your visitors to another webpage or blog. These are very powerful ways to keep your readers clicking and digesting your content. Additionally, Google notices this text and this section has always been a great place to add a few of your site’s keywords. Furthermore, the Penguin update not only allows the usage of base keywords but also related keywords. This can further promote web traffic and increase your number of hits; just remember to keep the keywords relevant.
Essentially, Penguin has not revolutionised SEO, but has rather streamlined the SEO process. The basic principles still apply; using compelling keywords, highlighting text and addressing the reader as opposed to the search engine should always be the first priority.