Many of the most popular SEO practices a few years ago are now cursed and considered foolish because they will either get you penalized or the costs far outweigh the benefits. While the Penguin update has certainly changed many things about online marketing, you can still gain exposure by abiding by Google’s rules.
Not Just Content
First of all, content isn’t the only thing that you need to worry about. All of the major search engines are checking your website's loading speed. A website that loads very slowly takes away from the user experience. Many studies show that if your website just takes a tenth of a second longer to load than similar websites, then your sales will drop by one percent.
Not only that, but the search engines penalize slow websites because people don’t like them. If you want to do some serious marketing, then ensure that you choose a fast Web host.
Before Penguin, many marketers would use automated programs to build hundreds of links. These automated solutions are practically banned from Google and they will ensure that you get penalized. At the same time, you can use linkbait content to organically build hundreds of links.
You need to create content that is commonly shared. This includes infographics, funny or interesting videos, images, case studies and free guides. These content types will help you quickly build many links without having to use blackhat techniques.
Use Social Media
For the longest time, marketers said that social media was good for bringing in traffic, but that it didn’t help SEO. The post-Penguin consensus is quite the opposite because Google has said that social signals do matter. You can improve your ranking and get indexed faster just by updating and using your social media accounts.
The best way to do this is to share and create unique content on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages. This will have a direct impact on your SEO and you can also gain extra traffic from your direct social media followers.
You need to post useful content that Google will love. Google is obsessed with the user experience and they will increase your website’s ranking if your content is useful. The problem with this is that Google is an automated system that really can’t tell useful content from garbage.
At the same time, the search engine spiders are looking for the common signs of useful and meaty content. First of all, try to make your posts much longer. Many marketers say that a 500-word article is good enough, but others are saying that 1,000-word articles are much better. You should also include a list and at least a few resources.
You can’t be blatant about your optimization. Penguin demands subtlety if you want the best growth. Instead of using your keyword as much as possible, it’s a much better idea to use it about four to six times. You still need to optimize your content, but the optimization should be subtle so that you aren’t penalized.
Penguin didn’t really make marketing harder. It just changed around the focus of marketing. Instead of building your own links and writing short articles, you need meaty and useful content and linkbait to build organic links. Just follow Google’s rules and you’ll have no problems improving your traffic.
Derek is currently blogging for Hudson Horizons, an integrated web agency located in northern New Jersey. He enjoys blogging about multiple SEO topics like link building, user experience, Google+ and different SEO techniques. When he is not blogging or working, he enjoys relaxing with his girlfriend and watching the best show on television, Game of Thrones.