Pandemonium: Understanding Google’s Algorithms can help SEO
May 31, 2013 | By David Shephard
Optimizing your website for search engines isn’t just about keywords anymore. These days, keeping up with Google updates is key to understanding the criteria they utilize to determine if your site is a suitable destination for a Google search. It’s important to get onto the first page of a Google search as it’s pretty much the only way to get noticed. 58.4% of clicks go to the coveted top three positions on page one of Google search results with 36.4% of those going to the first position. Only 1.5% of clicks come from links on the second page. Getting onto that first page can be difficult, but with a little love from a certain panda and a penguin, you can make your merry way to the top of the rankings.
What the heck is a Google Panda?
Google’s Panda and its sidekick Penguin are algorithms that Google has introduced to filter out spam from the Internet and reward your searches with the best quality websites that are relevant to your search criteria. Panda is designed to filter websites based on the quality of their content. Panda checks that your site hasn’t copied articles from elsewhere and that it doesn’t have many iterations of the same article with different keywords or minor alterations. Panda weeds out articles that are written for search engines rather than for real people.
Panda’s sidekick, Penguin, is also designed to ensure that your Google searches render websites that provide genuine content that is useful to you. Penguin investigates your site and will drive your rankings down if it finds that you have stuffed your site with keywords (saturating meta tags and content with keywords to entice engine spiders), engaged in cloaking (showing search engine spiders content that doesn’t appear in a user’s browser) or any kind of shenanigans designed to attract hits without providing valuable content.
How Penguin and Panda can beef up your SEO
While Penguin and Panda patrol the Internet to find the keyword stuffers, the cloakers and those who are not worthy of your clicks, they also seek to reward websites that provide users with valuable, relevant content. Understanding what Panda and Penguin like can help improve your ranking in no time at all.
- There is just no substitute for valuable content. Providing great content means that people will come to your site and share your content on their social media platforms too.
- Regular updates mean that those who post regularly to their sites will also be more relevant. The best way to do this is through a blog. Blogs are a huge commitment, but they do drive traffic to your site.
- Share your content on your social media sites. Remember that it’s better to do a few social media platforms well than a ton of them badly. Creating a buzz around your site and getting your fans to share your content will also register with Panda and Penguin and will increase your rankings like it’s nobody’s business.
Successful website rankings take time and effort. It starts with a really great list of keywords; use the Google keywords tool to find the best options for your products or services. Start to build your content around these keywords with regular updates and quality posts that provide valuable, usable information. Sharing these posts on your social media sites is also a great way to improve your SEO.