Google’s latest update to their search engine, dubbed "the Penguin update” has shocked websites around the world. Almost as scary as the Penguin man himself, millions of sites have suffered a dramatic loss in traffic while others have gained significantly.
The majority of smart business people don’t know every little detail about search engine algorithms, but they know these updates occur regularly and they diligently pursue efforts to stay on top. This update in particular places a strong emphasis on relevance, and these steps will help increase your site’s traffic.
1. Rarely Update Your URLs
People often update their site’s URLs to accommodate a larger update, such as a brand new site, a different content management system (CMS), or restructuring their content. Unless they’re working with a reputable company with SEO knowledge their URLs could be in jeopardy.
Try to think of URLs as your page’s identity. If you change the identity, much of the reputation and popularity Google has been attributing to that page has gone out the window – since Google has to start trusting about that new identity all over again.
Another reason is you can’t always update links to your site on other websites, or in people’s favourites folder on their browser. Google knows this and degrades the usability factor of these pages.
Tip: If you must delete pages or update URLs, use 301 re-directs.
2. Use Great Links
Google automatically locates, counts, and judges hyperlinks to your site which reside on other websites. They do this in order to gain insight into what your pages are about and how popular and trustworthy they are.
For example, if a Financial Investment company is linked to from www.forbes.com, Google will attribute high relevancy and popularity towards your site and increase its search rank accordingly for business related keywords. On the other spectrum, if a Toronto Law firm is linked to from a general business directory website in Florida, it’s very unlikely to yield positive results. Taking this a step further down the bottomless pit, if your site has hundreds of identical links on low quality and non-relevant sites it could be flagged as spam and suffer a major blow in search traffic.
High quality links:
• Are not listed too many times on the same page
• Come from relevant and legitimate sites
• Are valuable to your audience
• Are present on popular pages
• Reside within the body of a paragraph
3. Practice Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is a fairly new term in Internet Marketing. It suggests that by providing great, valuable content for your audience and making it easy for them to navigate through your site, it will naturally attract traffic and increase page rank.
There are many websites which suck at other best practices in SEO yet still achieve a high page rank. Why? Because they offer great content.
Offering great content:
• Increases repeat visits & the life time value of a consumer
• Decreases visitor frustration & bounce rate
• Shows Google you really care about visitor experience
• Other sites will link to you – increasing your traffic