20 November 2012

South Africa: Leash Tightens On SEO

Following on the heels of the latest Panda update, Google announced the new Penguin update - both algorithmic changes that would quash websites that offer no real value to users who are searching for relevant, quality information.

The significant changes to its algorithms are an attempt to authenticate searches and push down websites that take advantage of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to get a favourable ranking.

Google Panda was first released in February 2011 and has received multiple updates since. The change sought to down rank over-optimised websites that used keyword stuffing and duplicate content to increase their SEO ranking. It then released Penguin in April 2012, which built on the goals of its predecessor to target websites that made use of black hat SEO techniques such as cloaking and link schemes to fool search engines spiders and gain a higher ranking.

Google is reportedly cracking the whip on unethical SEO practices and more changes of this like will follow.

Review SEO utilisation

Erin MacInnes of Marketing Fanatics states that website owners need to ask themselves, "What does this mean for my business?" In order to prevent a website from falling victim to one of these updates and landing up on page 50 of Google searches, companies need to take a serious look at how SEO was utilised at the time their website was created. What was once deemed legitimate methods of SEO might now be considered unethical and potentially harmful to your website and your business.

"When developing and maintaining a website, you need to make sure that you are staying ahead of changing search algorithms - by doing so, you will not only ensure that your website stays in Google's good graces, but will also provide valuable content to your target audience which will ultimately generate better leads," he adds.

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