Pandas and Penguins

In the Search Engine Optimization world, this year has seen some dramatic changes. Just like last year, the year before, and the year before that. The almighty Google has made some pretty substantial changes to their search algorithm, known as Panda and Penguin updates. But this is nothing new. They are always making changes in order to make their search results more relevant and keep the spam out. And as long as there is money to be made online, there will be spammers.

But what does this mean for you, the owner of a legitimate business? Well it means a lot if your rankings dropped because of these updates. You see, legitimate businesses often use similar SEO tactics that spammers use. The line between “white hat” and “black hat” SEO is often very blurred.

So what can you do to keep your rankings high, or get them back if you dropped? The simple answer is look natural. Don’t “over optimize” your pages. That means don’t stuff your page with the same keyword. Don’t have all of your links use the same anchor text. Don’t get links from spammy sites. These easy tactics may have worked last year, but not anymore.

Now you have to work a little harder and get links the old fashioned way. Your content should be written for the end user. It should be helpful. Don’t just write for the search engines. It still should be optimized for your keywords, but don’t over do it.

Get links from a variety of sources including social media sites, web 2.0, blogs, industry sites, etc. But more importantly, don’t just go for links that allow keyword anchor text, and don’t just go for links that are “do-follow”. This looks un-natural.

Quite simply, do SEO the hard way. The right way. The easy way might work in the short term, but it will always come back to bite you.

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