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SEO by Panda and Penguin

Search Engine Optimisation or SEO as it is more commonly referred to must be one area of the most heated social media discussions I have had with colleagues and clients alike.   By means of an introduction here are some things to consider:

  • SEO is a multi-million (if not billion) Dollar business where the business of the various suppliers is to get you to the top of the rankings, or in plain language on page one of Google, well in fact in the top 5 because the bottom 5 are often below and you have to scroll to see them – the horrors!
  • The likes of Google change their algorithms around 400 to 500 times per year. That is more than once a day. Some are minor changes, but on occasion there is a Penguin or a Panda attack and that is a major change. Google measure success by reducing the number of searches appearing. So much for the multi-million/billion SEO business trying to achieve the opposite?
  • People expect by putting in a one word search to be top ranked – seriously they do!

This is how an article on Mashable.com explained what Panda and Penguin are about:

Panda: Officially rolled out in February 2011, but there have been about 13 data refreshes of it since then. Now on Panda 3.7, it cracked down on sites with thin, stolen or duplicate content, as well as sites with a high ad-to-content ratio.

Penguin: Released April 2012, this algorithm put tighter guidelines on website optimization and adjusted a number of web spam factors, including keyword stuffing, cloaking, unnatural links and content spinning.

google-panda-penguin

So think about it. There are millions of people/companies trying to be in the top 5 or even 10 listings on a SINGLE Google search page, they are paying people big money to achieve this and Google are working to nullify any manipulation of their system. So what is there left to do?  I think it is pretty simple, common sense and will hold you in good stead:

  • Be yourself, produce content that offers value and contributes to the upliftment of not only your business, but also your industry and the community at large. Social chatter as I like to call it will generate much more business, engagement and referrals than a random search by someone.
  • Be fresh, original and regular. It is similar to the previous point but you need to keep your online content up to date, it must be living and dynamic and there is nothing worse for a search engine or a real person to come and see the same stuff on your site. You have to get out to them and reel them in.
  • Follow the basic guidelines of writing the article with certain keywords in mind. These should be in your title which if set up correctly will be part of the article/page URL and it will be found in logical places in the article and not simply “stuffed” in. Use tags, place your blogs posts in categories. It is more important for real people to be able to filter and find your content. Real people will buy from you; Google will not give you a single cent!
  • Of course there is a place to have an ‘expert’ analyse your traffic and bad links and to make suggestions about how best to layout your content. But be realistic, as with anything in life there is no quick fix, not proven formula to get to the top. It takes hard work and it takes time. Same with search engine rankings. Doing things the right way, being real and producing good solid content and getting the engagement of people via all social media platforms will in time improve your rankings and even withstand the next Google Attach of some or other black and white furry animal.

I hope you all have a great day writing articles and content that suit your personality and style and I must now prepare for the onslaught by the SEO mafia who will attempt to virtually break my knees…! 😉

Shawn Fouche
Shawn Fouche
A systems engineering background together with a creative flair for design, a solid understanding of business principles and an unquenchable desire to explore new online technologies. A career that has already spanned 36+ years and still going strong.

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