In a constantly changing SEO landscape, it is important to remain up-to-date with the changing practices and strategies of optimization. Every year, search engines like Google introduce new updates in the SERPs, thereby widely affecting the rankings of the various websites.
Last year, Google launched the Knowledge Graph aimed at helping users find relevant information easily and fast. This search model is referred to as an “intelligent” way to find the right results for queries with different meanings. It is also an attempt by Google to help users better understand a topic by summarizing important facts and relevant content about the search query.
For instance, if you typed the word “rio” in Google search bar, you will be given these different types of suggestions to help you find the correct result to your query.
Moreover, the Knowledge Graph also provides a broader and deeper understanding of a given topic. Today, SERPs are not only about the listing of the high-ranking websites in a row. Google results are now more about providing relevant information on the search query. For instance, if you look for the movie “Up” in Google, you will be presented with an in-depth database about the movie.
In addition to the SERP updates, the recent algorithm changes have also altered the process of optimization forever. No longer an SEO campaign is about adding a few keywords and establishing thousands of links with link-farms. Today, it is ablout developing a 360-degree approach to a campaign.
It is vital for businesses and site owners to understand that for SEO success, one should focus more on developing a relevant site with authority. It is true that good SEO can improve the readability and usability of a site but if you fall prey to “black-hat” SEO tactics, the effects can be detrimental.
Hence, to survive in this post-Panda and Penguin era, it is mandatory for search engine optimizers to stick to these golden guidelines:
Think Originality and Relevance
Although it has been mentioned again and again, but SEO success is indeed possible only with original and relevant content. Think about how you can add freshness to your content that differs from other sites. Always keep in mind that your content should be aimed at providing useful information to targeted users and not for search engines.
Hence, avoid any form of black-hat practices like keyword stuffing or cloaking. Instead of opting for any webspam tactics, try to keep users engaged by regularly updating the content on your site by means of blog posts and articles.
While purchasing any kind of products or services in the offline world, we all look for product authenticity. It has become an important factor and decision making criterion that guides consumer’s buying habits. The same can be said for website optimization today, where more and more people are looking for sites with some degree of authority. The more authentic a website looks, the more trust users develop for its products or services.
A great way to achieve this is by using the Google Authorship markup rel= “author” and linking it to the Google+ profile of the author of the content piece. A site’s authority can also be enhanced by getting credible links from other relevant websites, so ensure that your content is engaging and interesting to readers.
However, for obtaining the inbound links, avoid any form of manipulative tactics that Google or any other search engine advises against. Similar other authority-development strategies includes social media submissions like Facebook, Quora, Digg, or StumbleUpon.
Develop Clean Website Structure
Ensure that you have a simple site structure that is accessible by Googlebot and other such crawling robots. There should also be adequate internal linking between your pages for easy navigation of relevant information. You would also want to ensure that your site has clear URL structures without unnecessary parameters leading to distinct content pages. This will help crawlers to spend more time in crawling content rather than tracing and retracing their steps.
If your business has a local presence like a retail store or pharmacy, you should opt for local SEO so that people in that particular area know more about your services. A good way to start is by establishing a local profile on Google through Google Places for Business.
To improve your local rankings, have lots of quality reviews about your business on your Google Places page. Following this, make use of data distribution services like Yext and Citation Burst for widespread distribution of your Google Places page information.
If you want to survive in post Panda-Penguin era, develop a fool-proof plan utilizing the above mentioned guidelines and steer clear of any low-value SEO tactics. Although these age-old techniques look cheap and have worked in the past, don’t make the mistake of adopting them now. Always remember that the basic mantra today is authority, relevancy, and originality.