A few months ago, thousands of website owners woke up and found that their world had been turned upside down. While they were fast asleep, Google flipped the switch on a new update, codename: Penguin.
If you spend any time on marketing forums and/or blogs, you’ve probably seen the name thrown around… along with a bunch of cursing and symbols like these *#&@*!
The goal of the Penguin update, more or less, was to reward what Google considered to be useful, valuable, user-approved content. To do this, however, Google pretty much had to slap a bunch of sites that had employed a bunch of sneaky tactics designed to trick Google’s algorithm into giving them higher search rankings — aka “spam.”
This is by no means the first time Google has done something like this… not by a long shot. But you can’t say that Google didn’t warn us.
Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s spam team, gave us a heads-up at SXSW, hinting around an “over optimization” penalty. Shortly thereafter, Penguin arrived.
Sites that Google deemed to be overly optimized got penalized. Tons of other sites that were deemed to be spam were simply dropped from Google’s search index…
Help PEOPLE Find You, Not Robots
If you’ve been doing SEO for years, you’re going to find this concept very challenging… because you’ve grown accustomed to writing for robots.
In a lot of cases, you’ll be better off if you completely stop all of your SEO activities. Because Google may penalize you for it.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to properly tag and title your posts with the appropriate keywords and drumroll, please… post useful, informative content that other humans want to read and share.
Inbound links are gold when it comes to post-Penguin SEO — they’re like an endorsement for your content. Sharing is the new currency of Google Search, which brings us to…
Another huge component of Penguin was to boost the value of social media in Google’s search results. This no big secret or anything… Google officials actually came out and said that.
Social media is going to factor heavily into search rankings from here on out, and not just on Google. Bing, Yahoo, and others are moving in this direction. WHY?
It all flows back to the new definition of quality content… what used to be known as a “quality score.” When your content is shared on social media, that counts as a quality inbound link from a high-authority website.
Here it is in a nutshell: Google wants to reward websites that provide valuable content AND play by the rules — white hat only.
The definition of SEO has changed. Your goal now needs to be human optimization…
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