Over the last few years thru all of the search engine updates known collectively as the “Google Zoo” (Pandas, Penguins and the like) most webmasters knew it was just a matter of time before Google would start enforcing the things they were preaching about content. That day has arrived. With the recent revision of the Google Webmaster Guidelines they have made it very clear that they’re on a mission to take away duplicate, thin, and otherwise poor content off their search results.
In its basic form, this means quality should win out over quantity, at least in the case of content and links. Google is aware with many millions of web pages out there, it’s too much to expect us to not promote our pages, but at the same time we have to be adding to the discussion with fresh and new content, not simply a rehashing or exact replication of what’s already there. So, for the small business owner trying to make a dent in the search rankings, this means we should stop trying to game the search results, and instead embrace natural and meaningful link building and social interaction.
Best practices and things to avoid
- Strive for social sharing - One of the more important factors in the search algorithm now seems to be the inclusion of social sharing of your content. Ensure you not only have the facility to share it, but that people want to!
- Create epic content - Associated with the above, one sure way of getting people to help distribute your content far and wide is be sure it is the very best you can put together.
- Avoid content automation - Google is becoming terrific at ferreting out automated content. Do yourself a favor and just refrain from this game altogether, as anyone with half a brain can identify spun and regurgitated text.
- Employ link diversity - Be certain that you’re varying the text that is linked. Use a mixture of your keywords, URLs, click here’s and other generic phrases.
- Run from link schemes - Leave behind link farms and other ways of gaming the GoogleBot. Any gains you may have are temporary, and the resulting penalties far more long term.
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