If you have been keeping an eye out on the latest search engine news, you would know that Google has rolled out the third update of the Penguin algorithm early this October. Matt Cutts, Google’s head of web spam, tweeted that the change affected 0.3% of English language searches.
If you have a blog that you would want to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs), then this piece of news doesn’t sound too comforting at all. But instead of keeping your head down, there are some things that you can do to avoid being penalised by the search engine giant.
#1 Create quality content
This has been stressed over time and again. If you write articles that are original and created with quality in mind, then you do not run the risk of getting into problems with any of Google’s updates.
If you consistently provide this type of content to your readers, then you are increasing the chances of having that information shared through various social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
In addition to that, content these days is not just limited to words. These can also include elements such as infographics, images, and video.
#2 Be careful of keyword usage
One of the key black hat search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques that the Penguin update addresses is keyword stuffing. So, if you are writing a post for your blog, you have to be careful with the way you integrate keywords into your content.
Although your goal is to rank high in SERPs, it is never a good idea to stuff your content with keywords just to get there. The only thing that you need to do is write as naturally as possible, and let the content you created work its magic.
#3 Diversify anchor texts
If you want to link to your own pages or those from different websites, then you should also pay attention to the words you use as your anchor text. It is imperative that you do not use the same words repeatedly.
In addition to that, it is also important that you refrain from using the same URL time and again.
#4 Try guest blog posting
Writing content for someone else’s blog is an effective link building technique. If you are interested in increasing your online presence, then this is one avenue to make that happen.
However, it is always important to remember to submit good quality articles to these blogs. The content that you pass should be relevant and filled with useful information.
#5 Avoid paid links
It is understandable that you would want your blog to be known on the internet. However, participating in this kind of scheme will do more harm than good. The reason for this is that Google frowns upon this kind of method.
This is also in clear violation of the webmaster guidelines set out by Google. So if you do not want your blog to suffer, it is best to veer away from this.
#6 Steer clear of link farms
This is another strategy that you need to avoid if you do not want to get hit by Penguin. Although link building is an essential technique to get your blog ranked higher in SERPs, participating in something that takes it to such extremes is unhealthy for your SEO efforts.
#7 Adhere to search engine ranking factors
These are a combination of signals that search engines look at when evaluating a website for ranking. If you want to succeed in your campaign to get listed in the first page of search results, then you need to know and apply these factors.
These include creating a site that web crawlers can easily index, using the right keywords in HTML tags, and of course, creating high-quality write-ups.
Apart from helping you avoid the wrath of the Penguin update, it also plays a major role in achieving good ranking results if implemented correctly.
#8 Adopt the right link building strategies
These refer to both inbound and outbound linking. It is important that these occur naturally within your content.
But you also have to be careful about implementing the proper strategy because these are factors that the Penguin update takes into consideration. So, it is necessary that you vary the text you are linking to internally and use only high-quality domains for your external links.
Google will continue to improve and roll out changes in their algorithms to give users more quality results. Although it might give you cause for concern, especially if you want to rank highly in SERPs, adhering to good practices will help you avoid getting penalised.