google penguin update

Google Penguin Just got bigger and faster

First off, you maybe asking – “What the heck is Google Penguin?” Well if you have never heard of it, let me quickly explain. If you have heard of it, then you can skip this bit and scroll down to the actual announcement.

What is Google Penguin?

In 2012 Google made a change to their ranking algorithm that had the purpose of impacting on websites that were using unnatural and spammy methods to try and manipulate their websites ranking. SEO had got so bad in some quarters, through the linking methods that were being used, that Google wanted to rightly penalise those who were so blatantly attempting to force themselves to the top of the ranking results. This algorithm change was called Penguin and since its inception in April 2012, it has been rolled out on a almost yearly basis.

The recent Change To Penguin

So what is this recent change that has made Penguin bigger and faster?

23rd September 2016 Google announced the following:

“After a period of development and testing, we are now rolling out an update to the Penguin algorithm in all languages. Here are the key changes you’ll see, which were also among webmasters’ top requests to us:

  • Penguin is now real-time. Historically, the list of sites affected by Penguin was periodically refreshed at the same time. Once a webmaster considerably improved their site and its presence on the internet, many of Google’s algorithms would take that into consideration very fast, but others, like Penguin, needed to be refreshed. With this change, Penguin’s data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we recrawl and reindex a page. It also means we’re not going to comment on future refreshes.
  • Penguin is now more granular. Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site. “

(click here to read full announcement if you are interested)

So what does this mean in simple terms?

Well what it means is if your SEO is not doing their job properly, and trying to force your rankings, through unnatural or spammy link building, Google will now be able to see it immediately, whereas before it could take up to a year before they noticed.

But it also means that if you have been hit with a Penguin penalty in the past and you had to wait almost a year till the next update, now if you fix the problem, Google will see it immediately, enabling you to get back into the ranking game without too much delay.

I personally think the update into real time is a great thing. We are going to see unethical SEO’s and those who don’t know how to do SEO properly now give up and those who do know what they are going, and do their work in line with Google’s code of ethics, be able to provide quality service.

A win-win for clients and quality SEO’s

The word helpful SEO tips on blue business binder

SEO Tips

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SEO Tips To Improve Your Rankings

Ranking a website is getting more challenging, and therefore, it is important to get the basics correct. You will be surprised how many websites I come across that don’t have the basics of on-site SEO in place, and as a result, the website struggles to rank well.
I’ve compiled a list of the top ten issues of incorrect on-site SEO that I see most often. May I suggest you check to make sure that they are correct on your website and its ranking is not being affected.

Tips For Your On Page SEO

Tip #1 Meta Data

Often overlooked, but Google see MetaData as important (otherwise they would not advise of incorrect or duplicate Meta Data in their Webmaster Tools). Your website’s metadata consists of your page title tag and the meta description. Not sure what these are?

Title Tagseo tip on title tags
Your title tag is literally that, a tag on your page which is the pages title. You can see from the image to the side, what the title tag of my home page is. In this section you only have space for 60 characters, so don’t waste space mentioning the name of your company or how old it is… no one cares. Use a compelling title that states what your page is about so both the search engines and visitors to your site know. Getting this right is one of the most important things that helps get your website ranked

Meta Description
Each page on your website should have a meta description. This is 150 characters in length and tells the search engines, in more detail, what your web page is about. Make sure your title and description are not exactly the same. Again be descriptive, with the keywords you want to rank for mentioned (only once) and not a history lesson on your business.
You will see the meta description of a web page when you do a search, its located under the link for the site. Look at the example to the side.
I did a search on Google for ‘Property Lawyers in Kent’. You can see from those sites ranking that they have the words from that search term, in the meta description and /or in the title tag. A good meta description helps your website rank well and for multiple related search terms too.

meta description tips for effective seo

Tip #2 Connect Your Website to Google

You would be surprised how many businesses do not connect their website to Google. In fact, you may be wondering what I mean. There are three different services that Google provide that you should connect your site to, and two provides you with detailed and extremely helpful information, and the third with powerful links to your site.

The first is Google Webmaster Tools also known as Search Console. Webmaster Tools provides you with information that helps you understand any problems your site may be having. Areas they cover are such things as pages not being indexed properly in Google, whether their bot has been able to crawl your site properly (important if you want to rank well) and security issues to name just a few.

Secondly, there is Google Analytics. This tells you the number of visitors to your site, how long they stayed on each page, what pages they viewed, where they came from, how they found your site and on the analytics go. You could even measure how many people download certain documents on your website, and from what country’s they are from. Whatever activity you want to analyse on your website, you can with Google analytics.

The third connection you should make with Google is through having a Google My Business Page. This is a profile page about your business on Google Business (formally referred to as Google Local) It is very easy to set up and allows you to send links to your website for your keywords. Simply put the following term ‘Google My Business’I nto the search engine and go from there.

Tip #3 Create Quality Content. 

If you have hired an SEO consultant in the past to write the copy for your website, you may find that it was written with the search engines in mind. What I mean by that is, they may have written the copy to mention your keywords as many times as possible. Google want to see good quality informative content and not content that is written to rank. A good rule of thumb is not to exceed 2-3% keyword density. SO if you have 100 words don’t mention your keywords more than 3 times in the content. In fact, make your copy read as naturally as possible. If you were to analyse the content on this page, could you tell what my main keywords are, can you tell what phrase I want this page to rank for?

Tip #4 Use Header Tags

Having a web page full of content that is not separated with Headers is very difficult to read. Also, start your pages with a Header (H1 tag) it tells the search engines what the content on your page is about, but also what you want to possibly rank for. If your main header on your site is ‘Welcome To Our Site…’ that does not help. You will see on my homepage I have ‘Nathan Tarrant & SEO Consultant because the last two words are what I want to rank for!

Tip #5 Put Alt Tags in Images

Google can’t actually see images, they can only see the code within the image. An Alt Tag, or Alternative Tag, is how you tell the search engines not only what your image is, but also so by placing keywords in the Alt tag you are giving the search engines additional information as to what your page is about and what you want to rank for. Word of caution. If you have more than one image on a page, don’t use the same Alt Tag description in each image. Make sure you use different or variant words so it doesn’t look like you are spamming your site.

Tip #6 Create Interlinks Between Pages

Every site has the standard navigation either at the top of a page (like this site) or down the side, but what a lot of sites don’t consider are interlinks between pages. It’s what is referred to amongst some SEO people as ‘the Wiki Effect’. If you look at a Wikipedia page, it has links in the content to other pages on that specific subject.

The reason why interlinks are important is because not only does it make it easier for a visitor to your website to visit other pages, but it also keeps them on your website for longer as you entice them to view other pages of interest. An example of interlinking would be if I was talking about Ethical SEO and how important it is, I may write here that the reason why Ethical SEO is important is because too many companies like yours are being conned. Rather than have a simple link in my top navigation, I have created an opportunity for you to visit that page and as a result of that, I’ve increased the chances of you staying on my site, which is something Google love to see.

Furthermore, creating external links to your pages is all about ensuring that the link power gets passed from page to page. This means that your overall site becomes more powerful, rather than all the power being directed to the home page.

Tip #7 Try & Use Video on Your Page

Video is probably the most underused media on the internet. You will have noticed that I have a video on my home page and I am currently in the process of creating a video for these tips to have on this page as well. That way anyone visiting this page will have the choice of either reading what I have said in these tips, or they can watch the video. Either way, I’m keeping them on the page and the longer a person stays on a page, the more Google love it.

Tip #8 Use 301 redirects for deleted or moved pages

Sometimes you may need to permanently move or delete a page from your site. If you do you want to ensure you put a 301 redirect in place. The reason why it is vital you carry out this action is you will lose a lot of potential traffic and, in fact, damage your rankings in the search engines if your site has missing pages.

Tip #9 Install An XML Sitemap & Robots txt Files 

Although it is not the end of the world if you don’t have an XML sitemap on your website, it certainly does help your rankings. What an XML sitemap does is it tells Google the actual structure of your website, what pages you have and where they are, how they are connected etc. This helps Google index the right pages fast. A Robot txt file does the opposite. It tells the search engines what pages they are not to look at or index. In fact, you can even block entire search engines if you don’t want to rank your site, or you don’t want them to see it in any way. The reason why you would do that is if you have a private members site or a website that is just for internal staff.

Tip #10 Use Social Media Sharing On Your Pages 

Social Media is playing a larger part in SEO every day. Creating what are called ‘Social Signals’ where your content is being shared by page visitors, on their social media accounts, tells the search engines that your content is valuable and of interest and, as a result, you will see that this will have an effect on your rankings. Of course, the key here is ‘quality content’. If you have content that is not of value then the chances of having others share it on their social media are minimal. But if it is of interest, then your chances of visitors sharing it will increase. Which brings me nicely to a conclusion for this content. If you found these tips for improving your rankings, of interest, then please share on your social media platforms by using the social sharing buttons below.

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