Small business in Calgary is a competitive world, and that’s why we all want to see our websites be able to contend against the others. When we use common keywords to search for ourselves online we want to see our sites come up on the first page of Google results. And Google’s algorithm is the most important to understand because, frankly, Google is by far the most widely-used search engine, easily taking in more than 80 per cent of the market share in 2012.
Since the impetus behind changing algorithms seems to be always altruistic, it can be hard to get mad at Google. They are consistently establishing to users that their modifications are meant to improve the overall Internet experience, and are specifically designed to filter out spam and produce the most relevant results. The key to Google’s heart these days is excellent content creation that adds value to the web and that works for searchers attempting to find specific information.
Old School Web Design Tactics Google Doesn’t Approve Of
If your business’s website has seen a dramatic drop in traffic over the last year, have a careful look at how it is constructed. There are several strategies that used to be very common that are now simply passé – or even corrupt – to Google. Ensure that your website does not employ any of the following to try for improved rankings and better recognition from Google.
- Black Hat SEO Techniques, which can consist of keyword stuffing, invisible text and overuse of ads. Essentially, Black Hat SEO consists of any action performed online that is meant merely to boost rankings and not improve user experience.
- Link spammers, which is when a website links to other sites for no other reason except to have it appear as though they are rich with inbound links.
- Duplicate pages. In the past, duplicate pages worked to make it seem as though your website was robust with information, but Google now has a way to recognize if content does not change from page to page.
- Content that is an ad but is made to appear as though it is not, such as an illegitimate advertorial. Legitimate advertorials are still perfectly ok, though!
- Websites that try to pass themselves off as something that they’re not. For example, Google filters certain types of websites (such as porn or payday loan sites) into groups so that the average searcher doesn’t accidently come across them during a normal search. If a website tries to break out of its group by giving itself a different name and changing a few of its URLs, they will likely see themselves removed entirely.
- Hacking. “Nuff said.
What is the Punishment?
Google can be awfully hard on those that break the rules. Most recently, in December of 2013, Google dumped Expedia – a massive travel website – from page one to page three. The speculation is that Expedia may have contributed to paid linking schemes.
Others that have received a slap on the wrist from Google include Overstock.com, J.C Penny and Rap Genius. The latter, Rap Genius, was completely removed from Google for several weeks when it was discovered they were giving shout-outs to bloggers in exchange for an inbound link.
Emphasize Design of Calgary Earns Rankings
What is to be learned from all of the fallout from Google’s changes is that search engines can’t be tricked into reporting false rankings any more…they must be earned. In order to perform well online, you need to put the time into a website design that attracts clients, creating content that answers their questions, and participating in your online community.
At Emphasize, the Calgary businesses we work with constantly impress and inspire with their willingness to respond to the evolution of the Internet. We work with our clients to develop marketing techniques that show off what makes them different from their competition and that serves the needs of their clients.
Just as we believe the Internet was built on openness, we believe business can be, too. Our purpose, our mission, is to always drive for remarkable results for ourselves and our clients. We are grateful to be involved in a business that demands the best out of us, so that we can ultimately offer our best to you.