The primary job of a search engine is to deliver the most accurate, relevant results possible. Deliver the best results, and people are more likely to come back. It’s a deceptively simple concept, but it’s far from easy to execute. The brief history of the Web is full of examples, as most early search engines flamed out quickly, if they ever got off the ground at all.
Then there’s Google, one of the few search engines to survive the early competition. Of course, these days Google is far more than just a search engine company, but the search function is still its bread and butter. In order to remain at the top of the heap, it needs to offer the most valuable results. So Google constantly updates its search algorithms to weed out bad SEO practices and other backdoor ways of tricking the system.
That doesn’t mean SEO itself is bad. It just means using ethical SEO practices will lead to far better results than looking for shortcuts. Google wants to provide searchers with valuable links. You want to provide site visitors with valuable content. These two goals align quite well, if you’re willing to play by the rules. Let’s take a look at Google’s latest update, Penguin 3.0, and how it will affect your digital marketing.
Got Great Content and Ethical SEO? Then Don’t Worry.
Since the first version of the Penguin update went live in 2012, Google has been especially focused on weeding out Black Hat SEO and rewarding sites that offer valuable content. Look at it this way: You can either build a site that offers real value, or you can build a site that tricks search engines into thinking it offers real value. Which path do you think leads to better results?
- Black Hat SEO refers to the latter, and aside from making Google angry, it’s self-defeating. What good is a high search ranking if it leads to a junk website?
- Good SEO, on the other hand, will make Google and your site visitors happy. If you’ve built a large audience by offering valuable content, useful links, and a website that’s easy to navigate, you don’t have much to worry about with Penguin.
- The update can actually be a positive thing for your site, as we’ve touched on before, because it weeds out the sites that are using tricks, and clears the way for sites built through honest, hard work.
Adapting to Penguin 3.0
Even though you may not need to worry about it, you should still pay attention to the latest Penguin update. The various tweaks in each Google update affect all digital marketers, sometimes in subtle but important ways. Penguin 3.0 is no different, and it may influence your thinking about your Calgary business’s website design.
- Aim for quality over quantity with links. The quality of the sites you link to affects the quality of your site, in Google’s eyes. That means buying links and random link-swapping are out, though that’s long been the case.
- Use social media to build relationships with customers, not just to advertise. Google’s algorithm has gotten much more sophisticated where social media is concerned, and that means real engagement takes priority over empty connection-building.
- Be careful of over-using keywords. Google frowns on keyword-stuffing, and you should too. The difference now is that the algorithm looks at meta tags, headers, and other less visible areas to determine keyword percentages. That’s in addition to your site’s content, which has long been the primary measure of keyword use.
- Finally, give your readers quality content. It’s the best way to keep readers coming back to your site, get your content shared socially, and keep Google happy, to boot!
Most of these updates are nothing new. The difference is that Google is finding better and more accurate ways for its algorithm to track desirable site characteristics. The steps required to build a great website and the steps required to make Google happy are very similar. Offer valuable content, use social to socialize, be careful who you link with, and don’t over-stuff your site with keywords. Do the little things right, and you can keep your site at the top of the search rankings the honest way.
At Emphasize Design, we use ethical SEO and the latest, greatest Calgary website design tactics to keep your site high in the search rankings, and keep your customers coming back for more. Get more leads for a better cost, and start growing your business with digital marketing today.