Google is constantly updating how its search algorithm works. There was the Panda update in 2011 which caused thousands of websites to fall off the search rankings. It would have been great if those sites that fell off the rankings were all low-quality or shall we say spammy sites. However, the case was that even good and reliable sites with high-quality content were also among those who got hurt by the update. Sure, it wasn’t intentional in Google’s part to hurt such reliable sites but what’s done had been done. Good sites got hurt. That’s a fact. What this means is that no website is safe from Google’s algorithm updates. You have to be always prepared for them whether you think your site is good enough for Google or not.
This 2012, Google rolled out yet another algo update. This time, it’s referred to as the Penguin update. As expected, the results with regards to changes in rankings among websites are mixed. Same with the Panda update, some good sites were also negatively affected. Penguin seems to have been more successful than Panda though. There are less sites complaining about the update. This means that most website owners got positive results from the update.
As we stated earlier, whether you think you are under Google’s good graces or not, you still have to keep yourself prepared for the search giant’s next update. Below are a few tips on how you can protect your website from algorithm updates like Penguin.
Do not over-optimize your website.
Over-optimization is one of the core points mostly discussed when it comes to the Penguin update. That said, you should avoid it like it’s the plague. But what exactly is over-optimization? Keyword stuffing is a perfect example of over-optimization. Another is when all the links pointing to your site have almost the same anchor text. Don’t do these if you don’t want your site to be penalized by Google.
Watch where links to your site are coming from.
Google is getting smarter and smarter in measuring the value of backlinks. Spammy sites linking to you can hurt your website bad. This is why you need to be alert how other sites are linking to you. Also, don’t make use of linking strategies like link exchanges and involving yourself with link farms. These methods are a waste of time and they can really negatively affect your site’s standing in the search rankings.
Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.
Don’t rely too much on Google for traffic. Google isn’t the only source of traffic out there. Because if you rely too much from it, your website will be as good as dead once Google decides to penalize you and demote your site. You should try out other traffic sources like social media sites, social networking sites or probably advertising. Sites like Facebook and YouTube get millions of hits a day. If you can tap into these markets, you will have alternative sources of traffic besides Google.
Focus on quality not quantity.
You’ve probably read this sentence a million times on the internet. It’s overused but it’s very true. Creating quality content is still the most effective way to earn the graces of Google. This also helps you a lot in protecting yourself from more algorithm updates by the search engine.
When it all comes down to it, Google is the biggest and most influential entity online. You need it for your website to succeed. You can’t just give up on your site if the most recent update slapped it. Implement the tips discussed above and you will be on your way towards recovery.