There is a lot of fear in the search engine optimization and online marketing community about what future Penguins might do to currently profitable websites. The business owners and webmasters in question aren’t necessarily worried that they’re going to be buried by flightless birds from the Antarctic, but they are very concerned that the next Google algorithm change – which may go farther than the last “Penguin” update – might take away the search rankings they’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Should you be worried about your business website?
If you’ve been building your search profile and online marketing campaigns in the right way, you shouldn’t. That’s because the Google Penguin update may have caused a lot of stress, but it wasn’t exactly unexpected. The world’s largest search engine has been telling us for years that it doesn’t want to see low-quality content, or low-quality links, influencing search results.
With that in mind, here are a few ways to Penguin-proof your website and be likely to find yourself on the right side of the next Google algorithm change:
Having the same keywords and phrases repeated all over your business website – or in your inbound links – is a sure sign to Google and the other major search engines that you are trying hard to influence rankings. It’s okay to pay attention to keywords, but don’t make them the sole focus of your content.
Study your current traffic sources and inbound links
It’s always good to know where your customers are coming from, of course, but you’ll want to pay close attention to what sort of associations you’re making online. If you have lots of links to or from disreputable websites, then it’s only a matter of time before they end up hurting your search position.
Pay attention to the percentages of visitors returning to your pages (or staying on them when they find them)
Although Google has been careful to point out that a high bounce rate won’t necessarily hurt your search rankings (it could be that visitors are finding what they’re looking for right away), these stats do give you a good sense of how useful others think your pages are. The more they are interacting with your site, the more referrals you’re going to see over time.
More changes to Google’s search algorithm are inevitable, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Follow these steps to Penguin-proof your site, and you shouldn’t have problems the next time the search engine listings start to move.