Know your Pandas from your Penguins

Over the last few weeks Google have made even more changes to their algorithms, under the cuddly guise of the Panda and Penguin updates.

Now those who try to take the moral high ground on SEO will argue these changes are a victory for making search fair, honest and transparent, while others will take the view that a multi-billion dollar profit making PLC is simply manipulating the rules of the game they created to their own advantage.

Whatever side of the fence you sit on, the fact is businesses need to be alert to these changes and adapt their SEO strategy accordingly.

Seismic shifts in SEO and what it all means

In layman’s terms, Google is penalising ‘unnatural’ looking link patterns and content.

So as the dust settles following a pretty monumental month (in SEO terms) if your rankings are down considerably then you know Google thinks your site is over-optimised.

It’s an uncomfortable subject for some SEO agencies, and those who haven’t been alert to this pending change over the last few years could have a big customer service issue on their hands in the coming weeks as the benefit of their services plummet.

Have your rankings been affected?

If the answer to this question is ‘yes’, Add People’s team of SEO experts have come up with the following checklist. Read, learn and act now!

Check your link profile, and in particular if you have the same anchor text

Google is clamping down on sites that have a high proportion of links with the same ‘anchor text’ copy. The best solution is to effectively dilute your mix with fresh, high quality natural inbound links.

Have you signed up to blog networks, or bought “network” links from an SEO company in the past?

If you have, contact the company concerned and ask to get your links removed as soon as you can. Remember if you’re an Add People customer we can help you out with a free link audit to help with the ‘‘who to call’’ and ‘‘what to ask for’’ bit.

Have you got “spammy” content?

If you’re stuffing your homepage with too many keywords so it doesn’t make sense when you read it, or even worse hiding keywords in your footer or making your font the same as your background colour, then remove it.

Have you copied content from another site?

We’ve all been tempted to copy and paste some well written content from another site, but you’ll be penalised for such plagiarism!

Sadly this applies equally to content you’ve copied from your old website to a new one. So now is the time to get scribing a fresh, unique, interesting company description on your homepage. Speaking of which…

Remember Google loves content

Just make sure it’s unique, readable, visible on your homepage, completely relevant to your business and updated regularly.

Don’t forget the techy stuff

Make sure your page title, h1 tags etc. are fully optimised so Google knows what you’re about.

Hang in there

If you’ve seen your rankings fall dramatically in the last few weeks I’m afraid there’s no getting around it, it’s time to put some hard work to make Google love your website again.

But time is a healer, and Google have made assurances that providing you’re not demoted manually, by following their best practice guidelines you should see your rankings improve naturally over time.

Here’s word straight from the Head of Google’s Spam team. Matt Cutts on Google penalties

Don’t forget, we’re on your side and we’re here to help. Drop our service team a line and we can help with practical advice around your individual circumstances.