Google's Penguin update pushes for user-friendly content
Google have update their search algorithm in a bid for more user-centric content on websites and less junk content intended only for search engine bots. The update comes as a response to sneaky spam tactics focussed on generating links and it's a real indication that the internet is now being shaped by users, for it's users. We already know that the internet is full of spam, a main culprit being the SEO industry. This is an excellent example of why relevant and quality content is one of the most valuable assets a website can have.
Here's a summary of the most important changes.
Exact Match Domains
The idea behind exact match domains is pretty simple. You match your URL to the search terms you want relevance with, It's a pretty solid SEO tactic. In the past, some websites have purchased heaps of URL's with popular search terms to drive more traffic. It's pretty naughty SEO and its being targeted by Google in coming updates.
Paid Text Links (with exact anchor text)
Paid links with exact anchor text are just 'too perfect' for Google to handle, so when there's heaps of links with the same anchor text, Google's alarm bells go off. The Penguin update will target and identify these paid links, there's definitely going to be some wrist slapping going on at Google.
Placing comments on a blog makes it appear more popular, so if you put heaps of comments, you can fool Google into thinking its popular, when it's really not. Theres some tighter regulations with comment spam, particularly those in Russian. (Jokes! Anyone with a blog will get it..) The new update will help identify and separate comment spam from the real deals.
Guest posting can build quality back links, Period. It's great when guest authors contribute to online communities and Google would neve stifle that. Where people can get in trouble, is by adding posts to websites that are set up purely to make money on the guest posts, based on the links they would generate. Not all blogs are created equal, and guest authors should focus on writing for quality sites.
Article marketing is placing poorly written content on your website that is keyword rich, so when Google's bots crawls and index's your content, it seems more relevant. This tactic is close to it's demise, with non user-centric content being targeted in these updates. Change is a fact of life in the SEO industry and it's important that SEO providers are agile enough to move with the industry. If your SEO search rankings have been affected by the Penguin update, get in touch and we can discuss some of your options, help you overcome the changes and support your growth online.