Oops! They Did It Again
There was a 7.1 earthquake in the search engine optimization world this week. Did you know about it? Did you feel it? There still are some tremors.
Here are a number of good articles if you want to read up on it:
- Another step to reward high-quality sites (googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com)
- The Penguin Update: Google’s Webspam Algorithm Gets Official Name (searchengineland.com)
- Google Penguin Update Recovery Tips & Advice (searchengineland.com)
- New Google Search Algorithm Update Targets Web Spam (searchenginewatch.com)
- Did Penguin Make Google’s Search Results Better Or Worse? (searchengineland.com)
It happened on Tuesday. Rankings were affected Tuesday night and all day Wednesday. It's Friday now and some rankings are coming back.
What? What does that mean?
Well, what happens is, Google rolls out an update and things change pretty radically. Shortly after it goes live, they start making tweaks and within a few days, things come back - well, some of them do. The good websites that were pushed down do tend to come back up a little or all the way. I was watching rankings and they seemed to have made a lot of adjustments since Tuesday. They will continue to.
What You Need to Know About the Penguin Update
What Google did this time (and tries to do with each update - like Panda last year) is get rid of websites that don't have quality content but are somehow ranking well. This update was about getting rid of what they call "webspam." Websites with low content quality were moved down. Also, Google seems to be emphasizing stale content. New content always gave a bonus to a website but now they're looking for old content to get updated and refreshed, too.
It Comes Down to Quality Content
Think like Google. If you're Google, you want to give the best results to searchers, right? There's so much content out there now that you need new ways to filter out what is the best content. That's what they're doing with updates. They want good, original content that answers people's questions. They want meat, not fluff.
What's unfair with this kind of system is that in order for people to find your great content, you sort of have to manufacture that buzz a little - meaning, you have to get that content out there for people to see and then rate. How they rate it is by linking to it - on their website or online social bookmarks or Facebook or Twitter, etc. That's where SEO methods come in to play. As we've discussed before, your website needs to have on-site SEO first so that when you do start getting links and attention, it treats it the right way and you get the most out of it. After that's done, you can start working on getting a few links to get attention so that it can rank higher after a bit more optimization.
That's a really quick overview of SEO. I'm not going to get into now. There are many other posts here about how to do SEO and why a partner like Webstix is great because we can do the SEO grunt work that nobody wants to do.
"So let's dance!" -Al Czervik
Yeah, maybe not everyone got that Caddyshack reference... anywho... what you do now is create great content. Find out what people are looking for and give it to them. Google loves that!
Make link-worthy content. Put some work into your content. Do research, find out stuff. Make it great. Then promote it a little, do tweaks and it'll rank high. You've just made Google happy. That's where this is going - either get on the train now or walk.