June 2012

Penguin Update Explained

Google’s Penguin update was released in April of this year, and because of what it targets, many have called it the “over optimization” update. Similar to Panda, Penguin checks content on entire websites and specific webpages and determines if certain keywords are being “over optimized” for. Penguin will apply a “spam flag” or penalty to a certain page, and sometimes an entire site if there are major or multiple issues. Penguin targets specific metrics to try and determine if a page is over optimized or spammy. Penguin checks if a page or site has repetitive keywords (keyword stuffing), footer and sidebar keywords, and repetitive anchor text on inbound links. In addition to checking anchor text diversity on inbound links, Penguin also looks at the quality of those links and if many of them are spam flagged as poor quality, the page and site being linked to could also receive a penalty.

Once Penguin spam flags a page, that page will give little (or no) linking power to other pages, and if a webpage has too many spam flagged sites linking to it, that page will also drop, as mentioned above. Many sites saw their keyword rankings drop after the Penguin update, and they found it difficult to determine if the issue was from on-site over optimization, or due to having too many poor quality links that ended up getting spam flagged. The answer was often that both issues were to blame throughout different areas of the website. We’ve seen examples of ecommerce SEO clients where entire sites came away unaffected by Penguin, except for a single page that received a penalty due to keyword stuffing; usually related [...]

By |June 20th, 2012|Search Marketing|Comments Off on Penguin Update Explained|

Effective Link Building

Link building is arguably the most important factor for SEO. However, there’s a right and wrong way to build links, as well as good and bad sources. You could also have great links, and a lot of them, but it won’t do you much good if your site isn’t optimized with proper written content, meta-titles, descriptions, etc. So, while link building is important, it’s still just one piece of the SEO puzzle that needs to be managed.

In the not so distant past, link building was all about quantity regardless of quality. The sites with the most backlinks received the highest keyword rankings and authority. Link exchanges, forum commenting, blog commenting, and other links now viewed as poor quality worked extremely well, and were very cheap to obtain. Many overseas SEO companies popped up in India and other countries which would literally build thousands of links per month, and it worked! The game has certainly changed….

Nowadays, these types of poor quality links will most likely end up hurting your rankings, and lowering your site’s overall authority and recognition from Google. The Panda and Penguin Google algorithm updates made these links obsolete, and dangerous. However, that hasn’t stopped SEO companies from offering them, so be aware!

The best link building opportunities come from relevant websites with relevant content and high page rank. The days of cheap mass-link building on irrelevant sites are over. Google looks at relevance and domain authority of incoming links and attaches much more importance to them. If you’re optimizing for “ripe oranges” you are going to want to build links from websites about oranges, fruit, food, or other relevant factors. [...]

By |June 13th, 2012|eCommerce SEO|Comments Off on Effective Link Building|