The recent Google Panda and Penguin updates resulted in a dramatic change in the search engine rankings of many sites. The Panda algorithm mainly deals with on-site SEO practices, whereas the more recent Penguin algorithm addresses off-site SEO practices such as backlinking. In the aftermath of these updates, many sites which were using black hat SEO tactics experienced a significant drop in their ranking. Therefore, if your site was affected by these algorithm updates, you need to re-evaluate and possibly adjust your SEO strategy.
Here are some tips which will help you adapt to the Google Penguin and Panda updates.
1. Add value
Some of the factors that have a major influence on your PageRank are the bounce rate and clickthrough (CTR) rate. If many visitors click away from your site shortly after they land on your pages, your ranking is likely to drop significantly. Therefore, to retain the attention of your visitors and keep them returning, you need to find a way of adding value to your site. The best way of doing this is by creating quality content. Carry out some research to find out what kind of content your audience would be interested in.
2. Update your domain name
Besides the quality of content, the strength of your domain name also plays a key role in determining the search engine ranking of your site. Google usually gives a good ranking to sites which have a strong domain. You can measure the strength of your domain using SEO Moz’s Domain Authority (DA) tool. Updating your domain name can help you enhance your DA, and subsequently the ranking of your site.
3. Use relevant keywords
When creating content, you need to use keywords which are relevant to your target audience. For instance, let’s say you have a business called Exotic Decorators located in Ontario, Canada. Make sure the keywords you choose include the words ‘Decorator’, ‘Ontario’ and ‘Canada’. This will make it easier for people to find you and enhance your chances of ranking highly in search engines.
4. Link wisely
Backlinks are an important element in off-site SEO. In earlier years, many webmasters used black hat tactics such as keyword stuffing to enhance their site’s rankings. However, the Google Penguin algorithm updates have rendered such tactics useless. Instead, having many backlinks might only result in your site being penalized. Therefore, you need to consider not just the quantity but the quality of your links. Before accepting a backlink from any sites, find out if it is credible and relevant. Don’t make the mistake of associating with sites which have been blacklisted by Google.
5. Optimize social media profiles
Social media networks such as Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest or Facebook play a very important role in extending the reach of your content. When visitors share links to your content, you are likely to attract even more people to your site. The increased traffic will eventually result in a higher ranking.
6. Start all over again
When all else fails, starting all over again would be the best course of action. Instead of continuing to spend your time and money to revive a site which has lost its ranking, it would be advisable to create a whole new site. With the proper SEO techniques, you will be able to improve the rankings of your new site.