SEO Strategy – What Does Google Want?

seo strategyA few months ago we reported on the recent Google algorithm updates which were causing uncertainty amongst business owners and SEO professionals. Now that the dust has settled a bit we thought we’d reflect on the practical implications of these updates so that you can make some important decisions about your SEO strategy.

Pandas and Penguins – A Recap

Over the last year there have been two major updates. The Panda Update (named after a Google engineer named Navneet Panda, not the bear) was an algorithm update aimed at rewarding high quality sites. This involved giving more priority to a new machine learning system developed by the Google engineers over old metrics like PageRank. Penguin, on the other hand, was designed to penalise sites which used underhand ‘black hat’ SEO techniques to engineer better rankings. The targeted techniques included keyword stuffing, link farming and other shady SEO practices like excessive footer linking.

What Were the Implications?

After a lot of speculation by industry professionals and Google gradually ironing out a few bugs in the system, the dust does seem to have settled a bit. With every minor update (there are actually between 500 and 600 each year) Google are gradually improving their ability to reward high quality sites and penalise ‘dodgy’ sites using old SEO techniques. The reason they are so keen to do this is to improve the search experience for the user.

What’s A High Quality Site?

If you are running a business and want to increase your online visibility you shouldn’t become overly fixated on each individual Google update. Instead, ask yourself:

‘What does Google consider to be a good site?’

If you can answer this question and let the answer inform your web design, online marketing and SEO, each algorithm update will simply improve your rankings and lift you further above your competitors.
To help business owners produce sites that they are trying to reward, Google produced an article with 23 key points. What’s interesting is that ALL of these points relate in some way to the quality of the content on a website. They encourage you to ask questions like, ‘is this content original?’, ‘would you find something similar in a print magazine?’ and ‘would you share this content on Facebook or Twitter?
With the Panda, Penguin and every update since, Google have reinforced their aim to reward companies that use high quality marketing techniques such as blogging and social media to provide value for their visitors. This is something they will only continue to get better at.
Unless you are already using these techniques to market your business online, you will simply fall further behind your competitors with every minor algorithm update.

By combining our natural link building strategies with our SEO copywriting, blogging and social media marketing services, we are able to offer an SEO strategy which is perfectly aligned with Google’s current algorithm. We follow Google’s changes on a daily basis to ensure that we are always offering the best possible service and the greatest value.
Are you still using the same SEO strategies that you were using last year?
Want better results? Why not give us a call and see what we could do for you?
By Angus Findlay

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