Google’s latest algorithm updates, Panda 4.2, Real-Time Penguin, and the “Hacked Spam” update, are all raising the bar (again) on the quality of content that will be allowed to rise to the top of search results. Are you at risk of being penalized? What will the long-term consequences be?
What you need to know about the impending Google changes in as few words as possible:
Panda 4.2: You need to increase the “quality” of your site.
Real-Time Penguin: You need to check for “spammy links” that link to your site.
Hacked Spam: You need to worry about getting secretly hacked.
If you plan on attracting new customers from Google, then you have to stay aware of these changes, or hire someone who remains up-to-date for you.
So, what are some best practices for staying on Google’s good side? Inbound marketing is centered on pulling people where they naturally want to be. Providing helpful content and informative answers to specific questions positions your brand as an industry thought leader – a source people will keep revisiting for more great content. This is a win-win situation because, while your targeted content creation fuels your brand, providing useful content is exactly what Google can do for its users (think: rank!).
Inbound marketing experts understand that awesome content is a must; but, that’s not all it takes to rank highly in Google. You need to conduct proper SEO (search engine optimization) that abides by Google’s rules. Search engine optimization is the important process of incorporating keywords and inbound backlinks into your website, which will indicate to a search engine that your site addresses a given search query. What it comes down to is: Marketers need to keep up with Google’s algorithm updates in order to perform effective SEO.
Remember to use keywords strategically. If Google believes that a site is packed with keywords that draw traffic but don’t really relate to its actual content, that site will be penalized and buried under pages of more relevant results. It’s important to keep an eye on all of the keywords you’ve created and see how they’re ranking. For example, if you include a long-tail keyword in your blog, such as “inbound marketing strategies for small to mid-size companies,” create related inbound links and conduct on-page SEO that relates to that term. The beauty in this tactic is that a visitor wouldn’t necessarily recognize this phrase as a keyword since it’s used in logical places – not squeezed into unrelated content. Use keywords in moderation, include some specific long-tail keywords, and use legitimate, topic-related backlinks.
The great news – and key takeaway – is that inbound marketing inherently works in a way that corresponds with Google’s algorithm changes. Google’s ranking qualifications reward inbound marketing practices, especially because inbound and Google ultimately share the same goals. As Chris Marentis, writer for searchengineland.com, stated, “Companies that continue to modify their SEO strategies and marketing efforts to coincide with Google’s algorithm changes will win in the end.” These are true words and, although it may seem like pleasing Google is the be-all and end-all, the fact is that working with Google, using inbound marketing, actually empowers your brand. Your content, your strategic efforts, and your genuine mission to help others are rewarded. It’s your Google, so keep doing your thing.
Want more of the latest and greatest SEO tips? Debunk these 17 SEO myths to modernize your tactics today!