The Changing Face of SEO Marketing
SEO Marketing, the approach used to achieve high rankings on search engines has gone in for a fundamental change in perspective. In the current scenario good is just not enough. Being useable is what makes websites receive the most hits. The fine line between good websites and useable websites is made more pronounced with the launch of algorithm updates from Google namely Google Panda and Google Penguin.
Google has involved some of its best engineers in devising these updates which use the principles of machine learning in their analysis. In this form of algorithm development, computer behavior is based on empirical data. Google collects user experiences on a bunch of websites in order to build a substantial database and performs a comparative analysis. They then segregate the sites that are liked and those that are disliked. The criteria for user preferences may be factors like credibility or trustworthiness, content quality and so on. On this, user metrics are applied and sites that are disliked are appropriately downgraded and those that are preferred are upgraded.
SEO techniques, today need to think of user experience. Content that goes into the site needs to be evaluated. Simply stuffing content with keywords is not the way to go in the Panda era. A more holistic approach is required in order to get the website the required ranking.
While working towards a common goal, Google Panda and Penguin are approaching the issue from two different angles. While Panda is focused on reducing the rankings of low or poor quality sites and improving the ranking of high quality sites; Google Penguin intends to prevent web spamming. Spamming as is commonly known is often the devil in disguise. The best way to counteract it is to understand and identify its identity. The most common method of spamming is the use of unnatural links. These could also include back links from sites website owners are unaware of.
In order to save websites from the Penguin and Panda hatchet, organizations need to revisit and redo their websites all over again. Improved content quality eliminating spun content, adoption of white hat SEO techniques, refraining from poor design or bad link structure or even eliminating hidden links from the content may be adopted as recommended approaches to fare well before Google’s SEO police. Google Panda would not be manually penalizing websites if a substantial number of pages were found to host thin content or poor quality content. However, in the absence of regular Panda updates, website owners may have to bear poor traffic even after redesigning their sites, till the latest update is made available.
SEO Marketing after Google Panda and Google Penguin is definitely not the same any more. Websites pass muster only if users rate it as not just being good but also enriching. They need to be well-designed so as to be intuitive and easily accessible. Content quality needs to be good and users should be able to access content easily eliminating the need for unnecessary clicks. The quality of content should make users wish to share it with others. In other words, Websites today in order to receive good traffic needs to be readable, useable and shareable and provide a complete user experience. Google Panda 3.5 is the current version and was released in April 2012 while the latest Penguin release was also around the same time.