Google Panda and Penguin Decrypted | inspirationfeed.com

Google Panda and Penguin Decrypted



Over the last 15 years, internet marketing has exploded exponentially. Every year, tens of thousands of people jump into it. As these people learn more and more, it doesn’t take long before they learn about SEO. It’s by far the most popular free method to drive traffic. The problem with SEO is that roughly 95% of search engine traffic comes from
Google. So when Google changes its algorithms around, tens of thousands of websites fall into oblivion overnight.

Whether you’re just getting started with SEO or have been doing it for years, this article can help you out. NOTE that this course is not extremely complicated, and the real “meat” of where to go from here is not extremely detailed. That’s because I think that SEO isn’t nearly as complicated as most marketers make it out to be! You just have to follow a few rules and you’ll be doing much better than most of your competition.
Without further ado, let’s get started.

Why do SEO?

seo expert los angeles 11 Google Panda and Penguin Decrypted

There’s a reason why SEO is by far the most popular free traffic method online. In fact, there are several reasons. For one thing – it can create HUGE passive income streams. Once you have a website ranking at #1 for its keywords, it will make money day in and day out whether you work on it or not. Now this isn’t to say that you should never touch it again. It’s just saying that it won’t constantly need your attention like paid traffic campaigns do.

Another reason that people like SEO is its CHEAP. You don’t need a huge budget to get started. In fact, all you really need is a few bucks for your domain name and
hosting. Building backlinks, writing articles, creating videos – these take a bit of time, but no money (unless you outsource them). And since most marketers have more time
than money, this is a good way for them to drive traffic.

Finally, search engine traffic is EXTREMELY targeted! These days, people go to Google when they have a problem. Weight loss, divorce, money, heart disease, misbehaving kids – Google has the answer to everything! You just plug in your question, hit the Enter key, and Google helps you out. And guess what – if your website is at the top of the listings, YOU are the one who has the chance to help that Google user.

That sounds like a business opportunity to me. But here’s the thing – the online world changes daily. This includes search engines,
and how business owners can use SEO to drive traffic. To prove that, let’s take a look at how SEO has changed over the years.

How SEO Used to be Done

When Google first came out, it was EXTREMELY easy to rank a website for certain keywords. This was based on both onsite optimization and offsite optimization.

Old School Onsite Optimization

It used to be that all you had to do was stuff your site full of the keywords you were targeting, and you’d get traffic. For example, let’s say you were targeting the keywords “how to lose weight.” If you typed that into Google, it was fairly common to come across sites that looked like this (no, I’m NOT kidding):

How to make money how to make money how to make money how to make money
how to make money how to make money how to make money how to make money
how to make money how to make money how to make money how to make money
how to make money how to make money how to make money how to make money
how to make money how to make money how to make money how to make money
how to make money how to make money how to make money how to make money
how to make money how to make money how to make money how to make money
how to make money how to make money how to make money how to make money
….pretty ridiculous, right?

Well it didn’t take Google too long to figure out that a VERY high keyword density doesn’t deliver quality content to the reader. So they lowered what is considered the “optimal” keyword density to 1% to 3% (depending on who you talked to – everyone recommended something different). As for internal linking – that just wasn’t very important. You could link to stuff on your own site to keep the visitor there longer, but it wasn’t required by any means.

Your website didn’t need to be clean. You could have images all over the place, ugly colors, high bounce rates (meaning visitors didn’t stay long), tons of extra
code, and a lot of other nasty stuff. Hopefully you get the point – onsite stuff used to be easy. Over the years some of it got cleaned up, but only in the last few years has it really started making a difference.

Old School Backlinking

It used to be that all backlinks were treated the same. The website with the most backlinks would win – despite what the website’s onsite optimization was like. It didn’t matter if your backlinks came from forums, article directories, authority blogs, .edu sites, or anything else. Even though this seemed fair at first, it got abused. Automated software made it VERY easy to spam backlinks all over the internet. Today you can purchase thousands and thousands of backlinks to your website every day for less than $100 a month. And that stuff used to work PERFECTLY.

There were stories of marketers who would launch a site, throw thousands of backlinks to it all over the place, and have it ranking #1 in just days – if not hours. Over time though, Google realized that this wasn’t delivering quality content to its readers. People would stop using Google because the results would sometimes be extremely spammy – not good.

So what happened next?

Google decided to fight back with pandas and penguins.

Google Pandas and Penguins

google panda and panguin Google Panda and Penguin Decrypted

There have been 2 main types of updates over the last 2 years that rocked tens of thousands of websites. The first type is called Google Panda, and the second (more recent) type is Penguin.

Beware the Panda

Google’s Panda update was aimed at one thing – improving the experience of Google search engine users. Because Google had figured out that visitors hated going to small, spammy looking websites with poor quality content, they decided to target sites that had these characteristics:

  • High bounce rates
  • Too many links from the same sites
  • Poor onsite optimization (no internal linking)
  • No or very few outbound links
  • Lots of low Page Rank (PR) backlinks
  • Uneven backlink velocity (they came too fast or slow)
  • Too many/not enough keywords

There were other factors as well, but these are a few of the biggest ones. Even though Google had been moving in this direction for a while, this solidified
the fact that automated, spammy stuff didn’t work anymore. Marketers who had been using SE Nuke, Xrumer, Article Marketing Robot, Scrapebox, and dozens of other software the gives automated backlinks lost their entire businesses overnight.

Meanwhile, other websites that had been built up “the right way” shot up in rankings. While some marketers were crying their eyes out, others were jumping with joy. But this wasn’t quite enough. Even though the Panda updates (which kept coming for a few years) had caused some huge waves, Google wasn’t done yet.

Enter the Penguin

Even though the Panda updates were huge, Google’s Penguin updates really shook things up. According to Matt Cutts – Google’s spokesperson when it comes to SEO – the
websites with a giant bulls-eye for getting crushed were those that were “over optimized”.

What did this mean?

Well besides the factors mentioned above, probably the biggest change was concerning incoming backlinks’ anchor text. In other words – if 97% of a website’s backlinks all had the anchor text of “how to lose 10 pounds in a week” or whatever – Google thought that looked fishy. And it kind of does, when you think about it. How many people are going to link to an article they found with anchor text like that?

Instead, a more realistic anchor text profile would include lots of other keywords, like how to lose weight, lose weight fast, lose 10 pounds, how this guy lost 10
pounds, this article, etc. Something else that Google looked at was this – where is most of this website’s traffic coming from? Is it ALL coming from my search engine? Or is it also coming from guest posts, Facebook, articles, videos, press releases, and lots of other places across the internet?

Again, this makes sense. A popular website will get traffic from TONS of different places – not just Google’s search engine. Meanwhile, a website that has been over-optimized may be receiving tons of traffic from Google, but none from other places. The Penguin didn’t like this, so these websites got CRUSHED.

The Aftermath

Tens of thousands of websites have been hurt by the Panda and Penguin – but some actually prospered. Now that we’re done with the history lesson, let’s get into the REAL meat of this report – how to build a rock solid SEO foundation.

Evergreen SEO

If you spend a lot of time researching SEO, you’ll find little tidbits of this information spread out all over the place. For example, you’ll find clichés like “quality before quantity”, and “don’t build your business on the sand of SEO”. While those are both true, they really aren’t that helpful. Instead, businesses using SEO need to have everything laid out to help them build rock-solid websites that only go up in the SERPS – never down.

To help you do that, I’ve broken this down into 2 different sections – how to recover from these updates, and how to build new websites with these updates in mind.

How to Recover Your Website from Oblivion

If these updates have killed your current websites, there are a few things you should do:

1. Start driving traffic from other places – i.e. YouTube, document sharing sites, press releases, **REAL** blog comments, guest posts, and article syndication. Paid traffi can’t hurt either (it doesn’t have to be hundreds of  clicks per day) Remember that Google likes popular, high quality websites. If your site is getting visitors from all over the internet, that looks a lot better to Google. And before you start thinking that “Google can’t see everything”, remember that Google owns YouTube. It sees when people clic from YouTube to your site… or, when they don’t.

2. Look at your site’s bounce rates. Are they extremely high? If so, add some videos for visitors to watch. Make your articles longer and more engaging. Put tools on there for them to play with. The key here is to do everything you can to make your visitors stay longer. The longer they’re reading your site/watching your videos, the more Google will think “oh, people do like the stuff on this site”. Go for high quality content, not just quantity.

3. If possible, change the anchor text of your incoming backlinks. Since this usually isn’t possible, greatly vary the anchor text coming in from here on out. Use similar keywords, but don’t keep using your main keyword every single time. As mentioned earlier, this just looks more natural. If a bunch of bloggers are linking to something on your site, what are the chances that they’re all going to use your main keyword as their anchor text? Extremely low, a.k.a.  it doesn’t look natural, a.k.a. don’t do it.

4. From now on – diversify, diversify, diversify. You want to drive traffic through quality backlinks from multiple sources with varying anchor texts. That’s the name of the game with SEO from here on out. And you know that? This kind of SEO is going to be rock solid for a long, long time. As the internet changes, it will constantly be battling spam. You don’t want to be a spammy looking, over-optimized website. Instead you want to look like a solid, helpful site that visitors LOVE, keep coming back to, and sharing with their friends and family.

5. To keep visitors on your site a lot longer, do plenty of internal linking between pages and posts. Wikipedia does this, and it makes it MUCH easier to find what you’re looking for at times. So for example, let’s say that you have an article talking about how to train a German Sheperd how to sit. Well if you also wrote an article explaining how to train your German Sheperd to fetch, you should link to that! The person may be interested in reading that, too.

6. Hop on the social networking bandwagon. Facebook and Twitter are the big ones, but you can use Reddit, Stumbleupon, Digg, Pinterest and more. Since the internet keeps moving towards the social aspect, go with the trend!

How to Build a New Site

This is very similar to recovering a new website from oblivion. The advantage with a new site is that it isn’t tainted yet! So even though you may be competing with older sites that have more backlinks, if those backlinks are spammy or all have the same anchor texts – you might beat it in the SERPs. So when you build new sites, here’s what I recommend:

1. Build a site with a brand-able, easy-to-remember name. People probably won’t remember something like “howtotrainyourGermanSheperd.com” as easily as they’d remember “TrainYourShep.com” or something like that. Remember that you want to build a solid business – not just a search engine optimized site. You’re going to be driving traffic from EVERYWHERE- and telling people to go to “HowtoTrainYourGermanSheperd.com” just doesn’t look as good.

2. Drive traffic through your backlinks. The old school method of backlinking was to find websites that Google knew about it people didn’t necessarily
look at very much. Forum profiles, Ezinearticles, etc. Those just don’t work as well as they used to. Instead, you have to put backlinks where people are hanging out. Write guest blog posts on authority niches then link back to your website. Put up some good videos and create a YouTube channel – again, linking to your site. Write quality articles and get them syndicated across the web. Google doesn’t want to just see that you have quality backlinks. They also want to see traffic coming through those links. That makes your site look popular, so they rank it higher in the SERPs.

3. Vary your anchor text. Since you’re just starting out, this will be very easy to do. Use keywords that are similar to the main one you’re going for, but not the exact same. At least, not all the time. So if you’re targeting the keyword “how to get your boyfriend back”, you can use keywords like get your boyfriend back, how to get your man back, get your boyfriend back fast, win back your boyfriend, win your boyfriend back, etc. By doing this, you don’t look nearly as spammy to Google. You’re still saying the same thing (so people will click through to your site), but you are doing it in a more natural, legit way.

4. Build links with increasing velocities. By that I mean that you start slow – a few links a day – and quickly increase it. A lot of the SEO pros swear more by link velocity than quantity or quality. They say that as long as you are following what looks like a natural pattern, Google will love you for it. So for example, maybe for the first week you put up 3-5 links a day. The next week, you put up 5-7. The next week it can be 7-13 per day. Then you just keep increasing it, until the point that you are building dozens or even
hundreds per day. Note that this doesn’t work as well for older sites with tons of backlinks already. Google has already seen your link velocities bounce all over the place, so it’ll be harder to get this to work quite right.

5. Use social networking sites from the get-go. Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter – all of these things build solid backlinks to your website. You can drive traffic through them and it makes your site appear as an authority. Plus if you get some loyal fans, it is VERY easy for them to share your site of fan page on Facebook and Twitter! Meet them where they’re at- that’s the name of the game.

Wrap Up

Driving traffic through SEO doesn’t have to be difficult. People make it difficult because they are focusing solely on SEO, but that doesn’t make for a well-rounded internet business. The key to SEO today and for the future is this – create quality content and drive traffic through backlinks from various websites using varying anchor texts. If you simply do that, your business will grow! You’re building multiple traffic streams, making your business more brand-able, and will ultimately increase your SERP rankings at the same time. So what are you waiting for? Go build some “evergreen” SEO for your website!

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 Google Panda and Penguin Decrypted

Designraid

I love architecture and love sharing beautiful design with others!

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2 Comments

  1. Actually the old school way of ranking a website still works. There are many many examples that I can give you.

  2. wergis.de says:

    You can’t do this every day without getting burned out. Getting approved for Ad – Words accounts is straightforward.
    Before finding a writer who can do SEO article writing for
    you, you need to know what a decent SEO article appears.

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