On 24th April, Google made the following announcement: In the next few days, were launching an important algorithm change targeted at webspam. The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Googles existing quality guidelines. The announcement follows last years Panda algorithm changes and, as the announcement further states, it is the next stage in a continued effort to help searchers find sites that provide a great user experience and fulfil their information needs. For further info on Panda please see our earlier blog: Will Google Panda means more SEO training?
Do you now need the services of an internet marketing agency?
At first glance it looks as if the changes are very specifically related to SEO techniques, specifically aiming to penalise bad practice such as:
- hidden links
- sneaky redirects
- duplicated content
- creating pages with malicious behaviour
- pages created only for search engine purposes and containing little relevant content
For businesses who run their own websites, its unlikely that you knowingly engage in any of the above bad practices. However, over time these may have developed perhaps through no fault of your own. You may have used an internet marketing agency in the past who have developed content that would now be penalised or they may have set up pages which would now constitute duplicate content. So the first step would be to get an expert SEO or internet marketing agency to run a full report on your website(s) this independent and expert review will be the basis for making sure you do not get penalised by the Penguin changes. More generally, it would be a good start for your future internet marketing efforts.
Understanding the work of your internet marketing agency
One default position might be to think that your current SEO or internet marketing agency will just deal with it. That may be true but one effect of the Penguin algorithm change should be to get any business owner to understand more fully what the agency is doing on their behalf. I have met too many businesses whose search engine rankings – and ultimately their sales and profits – have been disastrously affected by practices undertaken by their internet marketing or SEO agency. You can take advantage of these changes by:
- Auditing the actions of your SEO agency, paying particular attention to any automated activity or quick wins they may be applying
- Understanding what they will change to meet Googles changes
- Reviewing your overall online strategy in the light of these changes
Is Google Penguin a positive change?
Generally, these latest changes should be viewed positively by every business owner with a commitment to their internet marketing. Google believe the change will affect approx 3% of web searches so why are they making them? They are to show Googles ongoing commitment to creating a level playing field for organisations and rewarding companies who continue to:
- Develop unique and relevant content that is regularly updated
- Incorporate and encourage social media as part of their internet marketing activity
- Use an interesting and engaging mix of media such as video, photography, audio and traditional text
Again, an internet marketing agency can help at all stages of this process from review, planning and implementation to strategy, content development, SEO training and social media services. While the Penguin changes are a further wake-up call to check that bad practices have not occurred or are not being actioned in your name they are also a confirmation that good practise will be rewarded in search engine performance. If you found this tutorial helpful then please click Like or Tweet or leave a comment. Remember to watch this space as we will be releasing a range of SEO blogs over the coming months. Our readers can also find our Opace Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/OpaceWebDesign. For all the latest goings on, you can keep up-to-date with Opace on Twitter https://twitter.com/OpaceWeb. And we also now have an Opace Googleplus page live at https://plus.google.com/111516148099633923012/posts.
Image credit – Ville Miettinen