King Content

Content is King

The latest Penguin update was recently released by Google in an attempt to fight spam. The whole goal according to Google is to be better equipped to identify and fight spam. Webmasters and SEO specialists were expecting to see huge changes as a result but according to Matt Cutts only a little more than 2% will be affected by its impact. Previous updates issued by Google have turned the SEO world upside down and everyone anticipated the same huge changes with the latest update. It is highly likely that the reputable SEO specialist began evaluating all their optimization strategies with the release of the first Penguin update since it sent the online community reeling. The latest update according to Matt Cutts is “more comprehensive” as well as “deeper Targeting” that is aimed specifically at black hat methods. For those who refused to change and go by with spammy techniques post the first Penguin update, it is likely that their world just got worst. We know that backlinks need revamping, but what about all the other SEO strategies? What still works and what strategies should be tossed?

Basic SEO Best Practices

The latest Penguin updates have basically been designed to penalize websites which are using black hat SEO methods. At the same time, it should in effect reward websites which are offering the online community genuine value. Those webmasters and SEO specialists who design sites who are content rich and designed to allow for sharing across the various social media platforms legitimately will typically not be affected negatively. It should actually be beneficial to those small and mid-sized companies who purposefully play by the rules and avoid manipulative and black hat methods. The ultimate goals of Penguin updates is to cut back on hacking and link spamming as well as to equip webmasters with the proper tools so that they can fix sites that have been hacked. Basically, this means that white hat SEO best practices have not changed all that much. For the legitimate webmaster or SEO specialist who is working honestly on site optimization the same tactics and strategies will continue to work.

Link Value and Velocity

A large number of links can still add value to a site, but not if they are from questionable sources. SEO best practices for link building will need to be concentrated on obtaining links from reputable sources. Guest blogging is a way to achieve this. Sites that receive numerous links from other sites of ill reputation will eventually feel the negative impact. By using a tool such as PR Checker a site’s ranking can be determined prior to linking to it. This is one way to check a site’s credibility. But PageRank isn’t fool proof. Go to the site and check the content to ensure that it is relevant, interesting, useful and unique. Look at the site’s social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook to see how many followers they have. This can be an indication of how reputable a site is. It is equally as important to consider the rate at which links are built. Most of the time the accumulation of links should have a natural progression rather than suddenly having overnight spikes in the number of links. This can happen occasionally when something goes viral; but as a general rule a huge spike will get the attention of Google and it can be penalized. The general rule of thumb it seems is that as long as no more than 75 links a day does not draw Google’s attention. A link building campaign is not the end all to an SEO strategy. However, it is still a part of a solid online marketing campaign.

Content Still Reigns as King

For the most part solid white hat SEO strategies are still valid and working today. And at the crux of the matter, content still sits as king. The SEO specialist who is providing unique and useful content to their audience without using spammy techniques or black hat methods will continue to reap the benefits in SERPs. The goal then is to continue to produce high quality content which is sharable across the wide variety of social media platforms. As always, staying away from black hat techniques is advisable and profitable; and will keep you penalty free.