Google has been making big changes to search—changes that affect the way it assesses your Yola website. Starting with Google Panda and now with Google Penguin, it has been ranking search results based not only on how well web pages answer a user query, but also on site quality. This means that former mainstays of search engine optimization (SEO), like placing enough of the right keywords in the right places, are becoming less important. In fact, Penguin is making it ever easier to over optimize your website…right out of the top search rankings.
How to Become Penguin Candy
So how do you make your Yola website look like a juicy squid to Google’s Penguin? There are five ways you can achieve a stronger Google search showing:
1. Give them a reason to find you.
- High-quality content, rich in information valuable to your audience
- Social signals at the page and domain levels, such as Yola sociable widgets for Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus
- Minimal ads, if any (good thing Yola already comes free of third-party ads!)
Penguin sees social behavior as a mark of legitimacy.
2. Give them a way to find you.
- Search terms your audience will use to find you
- Correct spelling, especially of potential search words (remember to run a spell check using your browser tools or text app!)
- Text links instead of images to display important names, content or links
- Descriptive file titles for images and videos (i.e., not CIMG6627.jpg, but bear_posing_on_rug.jpg)
- Links that work
Penguin gives misspellings a high search rank only in exceptional cases.
3. Keep it clean and tidy.
- Clear hierarchy organizing your site pages logically
- Site map, which is automatically generated when you publish your Yola site
- At least one text link referring to each page
- Overall links kept to a useful number
- No duplicate content or near-duplicate content
4. Show integrity.
- No search-gaming practices expressly aimed at upping your search engine results (e.g., automated Google queries, sneaky redirects, or hidden text or links)
- No “doorway” pages created just for search engines
- No badware (e.g., for phishing or installing viruses)
- Affiliate program content only if it adds value with original, unique, relevant content
- A generally legit site that elicits a “yes” answer to the question: “Would I trust this site with a health issue or my credit card?”
Penguin does not like affiliate websites that try to manipulate search results.
5. Avoid bad influences.
- No reciprocal link schemes, or “link farms,” designed to influence site ranking
- No links to spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web
- No search-result services or software promising to pump up your rankings
Penguin does not like link farms.
You’ll maximize your Google search showings if you follow this general rule of thumb:
Always consider how your target audience will experience your site.
If you offer up original, well-organized content that shows a sincere effort to serve users, Penguin is likely to say “yum.”
Want to learn more about how you can use Yola to grab Penguin’s attention? Check back for Part II of The New Search Rules.