If you are an SEO, you will understand the mortal fear that SEOs and webmasters have of getting hit with a penalty. A penalty has a catastrophic effect on a website. Not only do its rankings go down and as a consequence its traffic as well, but even the credibility of the website takes a hit. This means the popularity of the brand takes a hit as well. In fact, a penalty has a direct and indirect effect on all the online marketing activities of a business. Therefore, SEOs need to do everything to ensure their site isn’t slapped with a penalty. A penalty leads to a nightmarish scenario in which, no solution seems to work and SEOs have to go back to the drawing board as far as their SEO strategy is concerned.
Here are five tips that SEOs must keep in mind to protect their site from any and all kinds of penalties:
Fresh Content Works, Every time!
When it comes to SEO, you must keep your website content fresh. Yes, freshness pays in SEO and pays big time. A search engine like Google will measure all your online documents for freshness. Websites with fresh content, more often than not, are always ranked higher. Freshness is measured by the number of changes made in a particular web document, the frequency of these changes, the number of new pages created on a website, and the changes made to important content of the website. You could say that Google is scoring each aspect and the cumulative score is taken into consideration while using fresh content as a ranking factor for a particular website.
But, while updating your website content you will do well to remember that Google puts a premium on quality content.
Quality content is useful content. And here we aren’t just talking about website content, but every other piece of online content that is being used to improve the awareness of your brand and building brand credibility. Yes, the content on your website must be of top quality, but so should be the content of your blog and of all the guest blogs, comments, profile bios, infographics, and case studies. The quality of your content is determined by its readability and its usefulness. It must be solutions driven and help your target audience. Some SEOs fall in the trap of using content purely as a means of implementing keywords in their SEO campaign. But, they don’t realize that the days of spamming content with keywords are long gone. You need to write content that is specifically written for the target users. Nothing else will do.
Natural Links from Authority Sites
There was a time when Google didn’t bring the wrath of God down upon you, if your link building strategy was full of spam and paid links. Everything changed when Google came up with its Penguin and Panda update. With these updates, Google made it amply clear to anybody who wanted to listen (there weren’t that many listening then), that it will penalize every site that has a collection of paid and spammy links pointing towards it and reward sites that have made the effort to earn natural links. And sites that have links pointing to them from high authority sites will be regarded even higher up in the food chain.
As things stand today, Google has toughened its stance on natural links even further. Its crusade to rid the World Wide Web of low quality links is going from strength to strength, courtesy its Penguin updates. As an SEO, you can no longer afford to get backlinks from everywhere. You need to pick and choose the sites that you want to get a link back from and strive towards earning that link by focusing on content quality and relevance.
Relationship Building for SEO
It’s time SEOs developed some interpersonal skills as well. They can no longer afford to sit in their cocoons and allow their SEO tools and techniques to do their work for them. The time has come to get up and move those creaking SEO muscles. In order to start earning natural links, great content alone won’t do the trick. What will also help is your personal relationship with the owner or webmaster of the site from which you want to build a natural link. Think of relationship building as a subset of building trust between you and the website owners. If they trust you, they will trust your site and your brand and will have no problems with linking to your content. High authority sites get plenty of link building requests and they have a task on their hands to link to relevant sites. And if a large percentage of such sites have useful and quality content, they choose to link with only those sites, whose owners have made the effort to interact with them. This is why relationship building is really very important.
New SEO is all about Effective Content Distribution
Content is king, we have all heard this phrase before, but in modern day SEO, especially in the post Penguin and Panda era, content is not just king, it’s the lifeblood of your SEO. Everything begins and ends with content. So, it’s not just how well you write your content, that’s important. What is also important is your content distribution. If you distribute your content across diverse channels, including blogs, PR sites, news sites and many more, you can not only build some great links, but also ensure that your content is read by the widest number of people. On the other hand, focusing on a single format/channel/medium for content distribution exposes your strategy to various risks, which in the long run could result in a penalty.
Search engines always wanted SEOs to focus on quality rather than putting all their efforts into building as many links as possible. It’s just that they did not provide any incentive to SEOs to focus on quality, as quantity worked out just fine form these SEOs. But there is an incentive now, and it’s called a penalty. The equation is very simple – Focus on quality and you win, if you don’t, you get slapped with a penalty that you won’t be rid of, easily.
Jeff Davis is living in California and currently associated with Quick Laptop Cash – A place to sell laptops online. He has been into this field since last 6 years and responsible for troubleshoot issues; interact to discuss projects, technology solutions. When he is not working, he enjoys hanging out with his beautiful wife.