Posted by: admin in: Seo
If you have been closely following the recent ‘comings and goings’ in the (relatively) closed world of Google, you may be forgiven for thinking that we are witnessing the end of SEO as we know it. Indeed, with frequent ‘Penguin’ and ‘Panda’ updates being rolled out on almost a monthly basis, along with the sense of uncertainty they bring, combined with the daily publication of alarmist blog posts proclaiming the ‘end of the SEO world as we know it’, such panic and concern is perhaps understandable.
However, before we all set fire to ourselves and run around like proverbial headless chickens, let’s take a step back. Yes, both Panda and Penguin have brought about significant changes to Google’s algorithm, and yes it feels as if it’s harder than it’s ever been to understand what Google is ‘looking for’. However, if you take a look at those sites that have pursued a natural, diverse and decidedly ‘white hat’ approach to on-site and off-site SEO you will find that, by and large, they have been unaffected by recent Google changes. Indeed, many of them have benefitted from these changes.
So, if you want to avoid being penalized by future changes what approach should you take? Of course it makes sense to keep one eye on the big changes to Google’s algorithm. However, I think slavishly following such changes can actually produce an adverse affect. It’s far better, in my opinion, to build your strategy around 2 core principles. Firstly, that you create natural, original content on your site, avoiding attempts to overtly ‘game’ the search engines with such obvious tactics as keyword stuffing. And secondly, that you build backlinks in a natural, diverse and quality manner. If you are building quality links from many different sources from highly regarded domains, with a natural spread of brand and anchor links, then why would the search engines penalize you? Put all your eggs in one dirty black hat basket, however, and you really are asking for trouble.
One other recommendation is to factor social signals into your SEO strategy. Whilst no one specifically knows exactly how important Twitter and Facebook (not to mention Google Plus) is to Google, we have heard from Matt Cutts’ own mouth that the algorithm does take social signals into account. And why wouldn’t it? Arguably, signals such as Facebook ‘likes’ and ‘Retweets’ could be considered a more potent sign of popularity and relevance than backlinks from third party sites. Of course this doesn’t mean that the likes of Twitter and Facebook aren’t prone to ‘gaming’ as well. As with building backlinks, your social networking strategy should be built on very natural foundations.
One thing is absolutely clear. Google and the other major search engines are becoming more and more intelligent and sophisticated. And this makes it all the more important that you pursue an honest, natural and above all organic approach to SEO. You see, the alarmists are wrong. This is not the end of SEO as we know it, but simply Google saying to webmasters, ‘It’s time to raise your game’.