The Post Penguin World and Your Business

If you have found a dramatic drop in your website’s rankings since the 24th of April 2012 when Google Penguin was launched, it is a strong indication that your site has been affected by this update, especially if you have any obvious over-optimisation on your site.

Getting back your rankings, although not impossible, will take a fair amount of hard work and a commitment to doing what it takes to make your site user-friendly rather than blindly focusing on being spider-friendly.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Too many keywords used repetitively on a single page often affects the readability of the material. Make sure you use the relevant keywords to get attention, but do not artificially stuff them into the content, because this affects the natural flow of words.

This makes sense not just because of Penguin; it’s just good practice – the keywords may get a reader to your site, but it is human eyes that actually read your content, and how long a person stays will depend on how engaging your content is.

Get Your Titles Right

Keywords in the page title are an important aspect of SEO; however, you ought to get the balance right. Keyword stuffing in the title is sure to attract the same penalty as anywhere else in the content. Write simple and catchy titles with a single keyword and some related words to grab interest from spiders and humans alike.

Check Your Links

With the introduction of Google Penguin, merely having a lot of links on your site is not going to be enough to impact its Google rankings. In fact, low-quality links could attract punishment and therefore, you ought to be careful of the quality of links – especially the inbound ones.

Use Quality Content

Make sure you do not make your webpages an exercise in the positioning of spun content. Rather, get content that is unique and well-written, with the ability to clearly convey your message.

Optimise Page Speed

People browsing the net have got so used to the speed with which Google delivers results that a minute loading delay may lead them to try a competitor’s site. According to a survey, close to 50% of potential customers expect the page they are looking for to load within 2 seconds and a single second’s delay can cause a 7 percent drop in the conversions you see.

Given the immense value of loading time, Google too takes site speed into account in determining its rankings. Therefore, make sure your webpages load rapidly enough, though not at the cost of relevance of content.

With the vast majority of people seeking to do most of their shopping online, businesses are in a perpetual rush to get to the top of Google search lists. Search engine optimisation is probably one of the best ways of achieving this but make sure you don’t resort to unethical practices to make your website search engine spider-friendly.

Focus equally on the quality of content you use; you are sure to see your site regaining or even surpassing its search rankings.

For help with putting this advice into action on your site, please contact us today.

Zoe O'Neill

Zoe is a web designer, developer, trainer and online marketeer and in 2009 founded Skills on Toast, a web and design agency based in Bristol. Skills on Toast produce fresh, innovative websites, SEO, email marketing and other online marketing services to small and medium sized businesses across the UK. Zoe has a real passion for producing high quality, engaging websites and likes blogging about what's new on the web and sharing her tips and expertise. You can find her on Google+.

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