Since the beginning, search engines have struggled trying to find the best way to ranks and sort sites. And since the beginning website owners have been trying to figure out how to get their website to the top of that list. Google is constantly working at their product to justify its position as a revolutionary technology company. Over the last year and a half Google’s updates code-named Panda and Penguin have thrown the latest wrench in the SEO world. These black and white animals have cause quite a stir in the search world, so it’s important to make sure you understand how to survive in a post Panda and Penguin world.
With these latest updates a lot of websites have seen their traffic drop and are looking for some solutions to fixing their traffic problems. While it might seem like it’s harder to make Google happy, really they are just getting better at enforcing what they want. Google wants to deliver the best results for any given search query (well . . . that’s second to making money). So for organic traffic your goal should be to deliver the best experience for those people who type in your keywords. While you still need to optimize for the search engines, you’ll be ahead of the game if you can give a great user experience on your site. There are a lot of things that this can mean, and it’s different for most keywords, but typically high quality content is a great place to start. Deliver answers to questions people are looking for. Use your industry knowledge to deliver the information and experience that make your site a great experience.
Your goal as a webmaster is to stay on top of any changes coming in the SEO realm. If you are playing multiple roles and you can’t or don’t want to stay on top of the changes you can learn how to find a good SEO marketing company who can stay on top of the changes and your SEO for you. The best websites are always keeping an eye on what Google is doing and you shouldn’t behave differently. While there are other search engines besides Google, because of the volume Google has it usually makes sense to optimize for them.
After the high quality content you still need to focus on building links. Google’s updates have tried to adjust the way that they calculate the importance of links. A lot of the easier links now don’t help sites as much as they used to (if they do anything at all now). Most of the “penalties” that sites have received are really just the aftermath of sites that link to them losing their value so your site no longer receives the benefit. It’s not a true penalty in the sense that you are being punished for anything. So the types of links that you receive are important to pass authority. The simplest way to think about it is that you want links that will pass both authority and traffic to your site coming from a high quality site that is preferably relevant to your site. Guest blogging with connections you have in the industry is a great way to get links to your site from good sites. Offering tools, resources, infographics, or other things people will naturally want to put on their site will usually help you get these types of links. But you usually have to reach out to ask others to share them on their site which can be time consuming and difficult to do. If you can get creative in terms of how and why people would want to link to you then you can usually have greater success in the process.
One of the great things about putting in the extra effort before you get hit with a penalty is that Google isn’t really changing what they are looking for in a website. What is changing is how good they are at delivering what they want. So if you are delivering what they want you will usually be in a good spot after the next update. It doesn’t always mean that you’ll land the number 1 spot in the SERPS, but you will normally do better over the long run in your rankings and traffic.