Lions and Tigers and Bears…Oh My!!! No, Its Pandas and Penguins and Fears!!! What’s Really Up with the Recent Google Search Algorithm Changes!!!
Google has been on quite a roll lately with updates to their search algorithm. There have been at least three updates since the early April timeframe. These updates have been affectionately named, Panda and Penguin. Projecting a cute and cuddly appearance I guess. However, they have caused a lot of discussion, concern and angst among website owners as many previously top ranked sites have dropped off the face of the earth from a Google search perspective. What caused this? Should you be worried about your site? Read on…..
Many website owners use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) methodologies to help increase the relevance of their site in the eyes of Google. Google has a love/hate relationship with SEO. They tell you that you shouldn’t do it, yet they give you advice on how you should do it on their various help pages! In my humble opinion, there is nothing wrong with using SEO techniques, in general or in the eyes of Google, if they are done properly and ethically. There are two areas where the “punished” sites seem to have run afoul of the Google Gods.
The first is having an excessive number of links back to your site that use anchor text matching high search keywords. If you are not familiar with anchor text you can look at the bottom of this post and see an example. I place a hyperlink at the bottom of all my posts to take you directly to the Comments section. See how they word Comment is in blue and underlined? That means I am using Comment as my anchor text for the link that is behind it. It is a great way help Google read your site. That and it saves me from having to write out the whole URL!! The issue Google is having is that some site owners have over 60% of their anchor text on back links as a “money keyword”. Google is reading this as a form of “keyword stuffing” and gaming the system. Sites that have less than 50% of their anchor text links using the “money keyword” seem to be OK. The bottom line here is to have your anchor text relevant to the page you are sending people to.
The second area is having too many back links to your site that are coming from non-relevant sites. This is much simpler situation to explain. What do automobiles and kitchen cookware have in common? Beyond the fact you need a car to get your new cookware home from the store, not much. So if you have links back to your auto site from a cookware site and vice versa, Google is now penalizing this. The key here is to back link from sites that are in the same niche as your business.
So it seems the cries being heard about these changes are probably coming from people who have tried to game the system. In our Mission Statement we talk about how we “ethically” Build Better Visibility for your business. The Panda and Penguin updates have furthered supported this methodology. There are always loopholes. The problem with loopholes is that they can be closed at anytime. Now being one of those times.
I have heard that Google has had their “anti-spam” engineers on other assignments for the last year and have only recently re-directed them to their prime purpose. This seems to be true given the three major releases in the last few weeks directed at ceasing “search spam”. As always businesses that are providing relevant content and building their on-line presence is a natural manner will be the winners in the long run.
Please feel free a to leave a Comment <== this is the anchor text I was referring to above
As always, please let us know if there is anything we can do to help your business Build Better Visibility.
BBV Marketing believes that local companies provide a vital service to their communities. We also strongly believe that it doesn’t take an army of “Marketeers” and some ridiculously huge budget to Build Better Visibility and grow your business. ~