Google’s Penguin Webspam Algorithm Update

UPDATE: The ‘Webspam Algorithm Update’ has now been given the much catchier title of ‘Penguin Update’. Interesting second use of a black & white animal for an update that penalises black hat SEO Google!

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There was a lot of backlash to the update, so Google have now set up a Penguin recovery form to contact them if you think your site has been penalised unfairly by the update.

Back to the original post…

Yesterday (24th April 2012), Google released its new search algorithm designed to stop people using spam techniques that are against Google’s publisher guidelines. They say that only 3% of search queries will be affected – but, judging by the comments already flying in on articles such as SearchEngineLand, lots of businesses have woken up today to find their sites have dropped significantly – and they don’t know why.

Matt Cutts Google anti-webspam algorithm change

With a report entitled ‘Another step to reward high-quality sites’, Google once again defines what it sees as the definition of “optimisation” (steps taken to make a site easily found by natural search terms and to make the site easily crawl-able).

Incidentally, Matt Cutts backtracked on his use of the word “over-optimisation” when talking about the algorithm changes in recent weeks, and seemed to regret how the term had drawn SEO into the mix. Instead, the catchy name for yesterday’s update is the ‘webspam algorithm update’.

What is Webspam?

Google see “black hat webspam” as any links or site changes that are there purely to make sites rank higher than they ‘deserve’ to be ranked – changes that have no benefit or are of detriment to the user experience.

Most importantly, they identified some of the factors that they see as examples of ‘webspam’ and which will now cause penalisation.

Our SEO training focuses on white-hat techniques that don’t compromise the user experience – exactly the sort of thing Google rewards. The importance of social media and quality content are increasingly important for SEO, so you can benefit from our Social Media Training and Content Marketing course.

Why did my Google ranking drop today?

If your rankings have dropped this week, here are some possible reasons why:

Read the rest of “Google’s Penguin Webspam Algorithm Update”

Build Relationships to Build Links: 6 Steps To Powerful Blogger Outreach

There are two ways to approach link building. Go for mass volume and don’t worry about quality or target fewer, higher quality links.

The problem with the second approach is that it is not easy and it takes time. In the past the first approach has always won when it comes to quick gains in rankings. But as Google learns how to detect dodgy link building, more and more sites are being penalised for these low quality links. So not only are they less valuable than good links but they can even damage rankings.

This post will teach you why these links are more valuable and how to reach out to influencial bloggers in 6 steps. This is an area covered in depth on our Content Marketing Training course.

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Content Marketing is a tried and tested technique for gaining natural links and building authority. Writing great content encourages people to link to and share your site – telling Google that it is a useful resource that deserves ranking. Writing posts for other sites extends your authority as a blogger within a niche and also has the double advantage of a couple of good backlinks.

Content marketing goes hand in hand with our SEO training and Social Media training courses as an overall internet marketing strategy. SEO teaches you how to optimise your content for search engines which social media will help you develop a working social media marketing strategy.

So how do you get these high authority links? Read the rest of “Build Relationships to Build Links: 6 Steps To Powerful Blogger Outreach”

Google Entity Search – What Does it Mean for Your SEO?

Google entity search do androids dream of electric sheep

Do androids dream of electric sheep?

We’ve all experienced the frustration, when searching for something in Google, of not getting useful results. You then have to either search through pages of results or rethink your own query and search again. No search engine wants you to have to do that, so they react by trying harder to get your answer right first time. Entity search is the most recent development by Google to give you the most appropriate results by understanding the meaning of your search terms and what related attributes you may be looking for.

SEO training can help with understanding the implication of developments such as these for businesses and their SEO. A content marketing course can help you give Google the right understanding of the information and services your business can provide.

Since the Venice update in 2012, Google has been making assumptions about the individual needs of the searcher and tailoring results based on location, search history and social aspects such as the sort of searches Google+ connections have been publishing and reading. Read the rest of “Google Entity Search – What Does it Mean for Your SEO?”

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