The State of the Internet

Posted on by Mark Fernandez

What is working and what is failing in improving your websites performance in search engines.

Have you checked your company’s website listings lately? Google has just completed a major update of how they search and index websites. If you have done nothing about getting your website to appear in Google more or have hired a solid Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) company to do it for you, then you have nothing to worry about.

When Panda and Penguin are not Animals

Even though their names are quite unusual, the impact they have made in the digital marketplace is astounding. But what exactly are Google Panda and Google Penguin? They are names of changes in Google software for indexing your website.

Google Panda updates are specifically designed to target poor quality pages and reduce the amount of websites that delivered these kind of content to visitors. Google Penguin, on the other hand, is an important Google update designed to eradicate web spam. The update will wreak havoc to websites that have been using unapproved tactics like keyword stuffing, over optimising and link buying.

Now more than ever, you need to build a website that is SEO-friendly, relevant and trustworthy. Hence, you should avoid using potentially harmful and useless search optimisation techniques.

Thumbs down techniques (Failing):

Buying Links

Buying and selling links that pass PageRank clearly violates Google’s quality guidelines, and this includes advertorial pages with embedded links that pass PageRank.

Not Having a Mobile Version of Your Website

The internet is closer to everyone than ever before via mobile devices. Google knows this and wants to force websites to give a great user experience on their phone. There are lots of options to cater to this. A separate mobile site, a responsive website will look different in different screen sizes and alternately use a mobile app that has a mobile site feature. Mobile apps are more accessible than ever to business owners using mobile management platforms that work in Android, iPhone and on non app devices.

Participate in Link Schemes

A link scheme is when you are linking to a certain site for perceived search engine ranking benefits and manipulation rather than usefulness to people.

Include Doorway Pages

According to Google, doorway pages are large sets of poor-quality pages where each page is optimized for a specific keyword or phrase. Google has never been in favor of search engine manipulation and user deception. This includes pages that have a very small amount of page content and no images (less than 200 words).

Not Being Local, using Google + and Google Pages and Maps for your business.

Google loves Google and if you want to boost your enquires one of the easiest most leveraged activities you can accomplish easily is to use these tools. Create a Gmail account, sign in go to you + top left corner, then hover over home, go to pages and create new page. Google – Google places to set up a map.

Slow Website

Google is penalising pages for slow load times and is now adding slow mobile sites to your ranking. Slow page load times and downtime can greatly affect your Quality Score. Make sure to optimize your site’s performance to maintain or even boost Quality Score.

Thumbs up SEO techniques (working):

Fast Website

In the digital marketplace, website speed really matters. There have been quite a number of studies and research made all pointing to the importance of a fast website. You need to make sure that your website runs smoothly and delivers results fast, even when the demand rises. Also you need to have a reliable web hosting provider (in your country of origin) to ensure your websites runs fast and meets the demands of increased traffic.

Paying Attention to Your Online Reputation

People carry mobiles everywhere and right now could be inside your business sharing to the world a good or bad experience they are having right now. The comments are posted on social and crowd driven social feedback sites like Urban Spoon and Foursquare. If you are not paying attention to your brand online then you could be losing business and not know why. At the very least set up a Google Alert with your company name in it to be notified if your brand is published on the web.

Fresh, on Your Website Content

Methods to get the best results for your website in search engines are changing, but relevant content is still king. By focusing your time on producing relevant, timely, fresh and engaging content that meets the needs of your audience will definitely enhance the number of visitors you get to your site and also increase conversions of visitors to customers. Don’t worry about the rankings, spend more time tweaking and continuously improving visitor experience on your website; and search engines will reward you with traffic.

Social Media Content Sharing

Google has introduced “Social Signals” as a way of finding out if your website is worth sending visitors too. Sharing the content you have on your site in social media and then having that content be shared is a great way to increase visibility and website value. However, make sure the content you are sharing to your audience contains valuable information and insights. Be loud and proud of your content and start sharing!

Using Your Website as You’re Branding and Authority Hub

Too many people are placing a lot of content on social media and other places and treating their website as a secondary element. You domain and website are the only thing in the digital world you can control. Social media accounts can be banned at any time with little hope for appeal. By making your website the hub for all your content then distributing it all out from there will create a much more solid foundation and asset. If you publish all your content on your site then copy the website link for the piece to social media sharing sites, add a small amount of text with a call to action to go to your site to read more, you will increase traffic, authority and your Google results will benefit.   

Remember, Panda and Penguin are updates, not penalties. Don’t panic if you are seeing a sudden down turn in traffic; instead, focus on proper conventions set by Google and your site will rank higher in the search results. After all, it is one of your goals to stay on top!

Simon Eder
Managing Director – Oolybooly

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