April 24, 2012 includes a date which is going to be remembered as the release of one of the largest attacks against Webspam by the Search Quality Team at Google: the Penguin Update. Even though Google says that just 3.1 percent of all search queries were affected, most webmasters think that the update caused more destruction than this Panda update. With this Penguin Update, Google’s message was clear: it won’t tolerate any type of SEO which isn’t fully Whitehat. Call it pink, blue, grey or black hat; it comes down to the exact same thing for Google: manipulation.
Most small company owners which were hit by the update are currently asking: ‘I lost every bit of my traffic! What do I do now? Is my company ruined?’ The answer is: not necessarily! Mend your problems, ‘whiten the hat’ and more importantly, diversify your traffic sources. As Matt Cutts said, Google penalties aren’t forever. If you mend the underlying problems which are leading to these issues, there’s a great chance your site is going to pop back inside the rankings as the following update comes out.
I wrote this post to offer a bit of important Internet marketing ideas to the small companies out there which have been hit by this Penguin Update. If you involve these three components into your SEO plan this year, you won’t just boost your total Internet traffic, yet assure that future Google updates will be rewarding, and not penalizing.
Tip 1: Improve User Experience
As you place a lot of efforts in attracting traffic to your site, the last thing you wish for them to do is leave your website prematurely, either due to them not liking your content, design/layout, or merely due to them being confused with the navigation.
Google Penguin and Panda updates alike have been cracking down upon sites providing a bad user experience. Keep in mind: with all updates, Google’s number one objective includes pleasing search users. Google takes into consideration that a web page that has high bounce rates isn’t answering a user’s search queries therefore it’ll ultimately push it down in the rankings!
I advise that you examine your Web Analytics stats for the last two or three months. If you see high bounce rates upon certain pages or low ‘page views/ visitor’ ratio, think about changing your content. In a few instances, re-structuring or re-designing the website may be the ideal choice. You wish to make certain your site isn’t boring and dull. Think about including a bit of multimedia content like info graphics or videos.
In the end, you wish for the bounce rate to be as low as probable and your page views/visit to be as high as probable. If you are at a loss for thoughts on how you can improve your user experience, you always can examine what your top ten competitors are doing for a bit of inspiration. Brainstorming with your colleagues/partners also is one good method of igniting the creative fire.
Tips 2 and 3 will be discussed in Part 2 of this article. Stay tuned.