How to Hit a Moving Target: What Google’s SEO Evolution Means to You
November 27, 2012
1) Google’s Panda update, introduced in February of 2011, was the first algorithm update that focused on quality of onsite content. Essentially, the aim was to give websites with richer content and a strong user experience higher search rankings than those with poor quality content. The results created higher rankings for news sites and socially networked sites and a drop in ranking for sites with weak content and a lot of advertising. Panda continues to update and Google continues to provide resources that help people understand how to improve the quality of their sites.
2) Google Penguin came along in April of 2012, with the goal of decreasing rankings of websites that violate their guidelines—through things like keyword stuffing, cloaking (in which the site presents different info to the search engine than the browser) and low-quality linking (where links are bought on other sites, to point to a certain site)—somewhat deceptive means to achieving higher rankings.
3) At the end of 2011, Google began implementing encrypted searches—and the move went international in March of 2012. Essentially, this means that any searches conducted by a user signed into Google can only be seen by Google and the browser itself. Website analysts still see how someone came to their website through an organic search, but they don’t know what search terms/keywords that person used to get there. Advertisers still have access to that information on their sponsored searches.
1) Continue focusing on quality content.
a. Make it useful, informative and entertaining
b. Refresh content consistently with articles/blogs of 600 words or more
2) Build engagement with your target audience and relevant communities.
a. Create social sharing and bookmarking opportunities
b. Foster community forums/commenting/discussion
c. Invite guest bloggers
3) Make sure your site design is intuitive and user friendly.
a. Present a clean visual design
b. Use rich image and video galleries
c. Implement taxonomy tagging to relate and present relevant content
d. Make sure users feel comfortable shopping and sharing from your site: present security certificates and a straightforward ecommerce.
“Encrypted search queries, which are enabled when a user signs into a Google account, now account for almost 40% of referring traffic data to B2B sites from organic search, according to the Optify study, which examined 424 B2B websites.”