What do Google Want Post Panda & Penguin Update?
It’s no big industry secret that in recent months search engines such as Google have tried to purge a lot of websites for what they consider to be “low quality”. Although this term could be considered as being slightly subjective, it’s causing us to seriously address what we consider to be a quality website as SEO’s. So the big question is: What is it that Google Wants from Websites and from us SEO’s?
It’s a fair point that search engines are trying to make – I understand the ideal and the importance of Google auditing and discriminating spammy websites and the SEO techniques of old, but at the same time they are bringing the hammer down hard on a whole lot of websites. In all fairness the market is not what it used to be – the internet as a marketing tool in the nineties and early naughties was used as an added bonus for companies, or for the more tech savvy and open minded entrepreneur that had a bit of spare capital. The internet was a lot less saturated with competition, so therefore it was relatively easy to be found on a number of search engines, including Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, AOL and more.
With the influx of websites on the Google high street now, it is good to assess these websites, but what are Google looking for and expecting from websites moving forward?
Since the launch of Facebook in 2004 and in less than ten years, the social giant has gained almost 900 million users, Twitter was founded in 2006 and now has over 500 million active users generating an average of 340 million daily tweets, both marketers and Google know that this is a gargantuan percentage of users, and also a great place to utilise and use this to a websites advantage.
With Google creating social media such as Google+, gaining an estimated number of 250 million users in the first year of launch, this indicates that they want a slice of the social pie. As a department full of quality SEO’s and one of the UK’s market leaders, with many specialising in social media, we see the great value in these tools too – as Google are now considering these social interactions, ‘Likes’ , ‘Tweets’ and ‘+1ing’ as a majorly valuable entity. Even if you are telling the world that you like a great article (hopefully this one) or a product, service or company this is still an important interaction, and arguably a quality that search engines are trying to register as a vote for a website, in place of links from certain high page rank websites.
The Natural Approach
Although some people may deem SEO companies and SEO’s as an unnatural approach to rank your website and improve SERP’s, it’s my belief (although considered biased) that we provide this time consuming service to clients that have no time, inclination, or expertise to do this for their own websites, whilst making sure we do everything correctly and on par with the requirements of Google and other such search engines.
The approach that I believe that Google want is natural link building and relationships, link building on thousands of websites in a country with no relevance will not get you anywhere anymore. Building links on supplier’s websites and on industry specific websites is the right approach, the digital equivalent to networking, building business contacts and clients. Yes, a slower more ‘organic’ process, but it is for good, quality organic positions. It’s even advantageous to be listed on local directories or within local community websites to further assert to search engines that you have a presence within in a particular area.
Site Structure and the Use of Good English
Having a logically formed website and a great user journey is paramount for engagement, bounce rate and conversions, but also for the spiders that crawl the website. Correctly and logically linking related products and services onto the same page (for example a plumbing website), with a page for Electric Heating Systems, a separate page for Gas Heating Systems, and another page for general plumbing services, gives the search engines more focus and in turn indicates that this page is more relevant to the search term the end-user types in. The correct use of spelling punctuation and grammar is also of large value, as Google are after all looking for quality in every sense. Misspelling, no headers, little formatting and the over use of certain key phrases will get your website penalised at some point… likely to be sooner rather than later too!
The Next Step
The Penguin and Panda updates that took place recently have left many black hat SEO’s quaking in their boots, but the key is to keep any information and interaction as natural as possible. Search engines are looking for relevant, engaging and useful content on websites with news worthy content. So if you’ve had a new fleet of vehicles or have moved to a new premises, tell the world, and alternatively if you want to give individuals tips on ‘The Benefits of Using Make A over Make B’ do so, but always remember to utilise the huge market of social users and to add social signals to your site.