Google Panda and Penquin make Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, a confusing subject for a lot of small business owners.
The reason it causes so much confusion is partly to do with outdated SEO methods still being touted by some people, and Google search algorithm updates making those methods actually harmful to your site ranking.
Why does Google SEO matter?
By keeping up on the latest search engine updates (such as Google Panda), and using good SEO practices on your site, you can improve your search engine rankings.
The higher on the page your site shows up, the more likely people are to visit it, since Google lists the most relevant content first.
If you use your website to gain clients and make sales, you need to pay attention to SEO.
If people can’t find your site in the search engines, you’re going to lose money to your SEO-savvy competitors.
What are Google Panda and Penguin?
Attempting to filter out some of the junk content on the web and return quality information to its searchers, Google rolled out two recent updates, called Panda and Penguin.
To put it simply, Panda is a content quality filter. It checks your site for duplicate articles, or multiple articles on a similar topic, with slight keyword changes.
It also looks for short articles, or those without any helpful content, written just for search engines instead of for real people.
Penguin is similar, driving down a site’s search rankings if it finds:
* Keyword-stuffing: Loading your site’s meta tags or contents with keywords meant to attract search engine spiders
* Cloaking: Showing search engine spiders different content from what shows up in a user’s browser
* Any other tricks intended to fool search engines into boosting a site’s ranking, without adding any value to the content for real readers.
Any of these issues can cause your site to get a lower ranking in Google’s search engine. This lower ranking means less traffic — which can mean a significant loss in revenue if you get a lot of sales from your website.
How can I rank better with my SEO?
There are several things you can do to keep your site high in the search engine rankings.
* Update your site regularly. You can do this in several ways; probably the easiest is to start a company blog and keep it updated on a regular schedule. Make sure you’re writing your posts for real people, not search engine robots, and you’ll get a boost from Google.
* Do some keyword research using Google’s Adwords keyword Tool. Find one good keyword that matches the content of each page of your site, and build that page’s content around it. Note: Do NOT just shoehorn this keyword into every sentence of your page. Keyword stuffing will hurt, not help your rankings. You should structure your content so the keyword flows naturally.
* Use social media to promote your content and gain links back to your site. Google’s algorithm uses this buzz to determine how useful people think your content is. If you create great content that a lot of people share, it can help your search rankings.
How do I know my SEO strategy is working?
Measuring SEO success means keeping track of your website’s statistics every month. It’s important not to place all of the weight on search rankings; while rankings will help you gain visitors, a more important metric is how many of those visitors convert into sales.
A keyword that brings in a lot of visitors who look around and leave without buying is one that you should consider scrapping.