Search Engine OptimizationOver the past year or so, Google has sent many online businesses and webmasters “running scared” with all of the updates (Panda and Penguin, to be precise). Not only are individuals who implement their own SEO strategies worried, even firms that provide search engine optimization are a bit on edge. Since Google rarely shares their closely-guarded secrets, it’s hard to know what you should and should not do when it comes to SEO. If you’re worried or have been one of the many who have seen their websites fall off the face of the internet, here are a few tips to steer you back in the right direction.

The simple fact is, Google wants to deliver the best possible experience to the user. How can you accomplish this and rank highly for your keywords or search terms – or get your website back up where it belongs?

  • Concentrate on valuable, fresh and original content. Google (and your readers) don’t want the same old re-hashed content that can be found on all of your competitors’ sites. Make it interesting, make it valuable, and make it unique.
  • Don’t go overboard with SEO. Google has stated that “overly optimized” sites will be penalized. This means no keyword stuffing your pages or unnatural linking structures. Be careful about stuffing your meta tags as well. Google’s whole point is to allow those websites that offer exceptional, useful information a chance to rank above those that are “perfectly” optimized.
  • Let social media work to your benefit. Google is now using social media in determining the popularity of websites, and links can work to benefit SEO. If you aren’t on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or other social media sites, make it a point to get started. Make your content shareable so that readers of your blog will “like” and “tweet” your posts.
  • Use tools to analyze your visitors and what they do. How many visitors come to your website each day, how long do they stay and how many pages do they visit? This is information that Google is using to determine user experience, so make sure you analyze these factors. If your visitors are quickly leaving, it’s time to make some changes.
  • Remember that when it comes to inbound links, quality trumps quantity. Quality links from trusted authority websites that are relevant to yours is what you want – and avoid link farms at all costs!

Should you be worried about the recent Google updates and SEO? Not really, if you’re concentrating on delivering what your target audience wants. Zero in on great content and your visitors’ experience rather than being laser-targeted on SEO, and you’ll do just fine.

(SEO and Google: Should You Be Worried Following Panda and Penguin?) (c)2012 by Social Denizens