More so than any other aspect of online marketing, SEO Marketing has changed a lot over the past five years. In fact, an SEO Solution from 2010 wouldn’t entail any tactics that are recommended today, and could even result in a penalty from Google.
Each major SEO change is designated by a Google update. This is when Google changes its search algorithm in order to provide a better user experience, and as such, businesses have to realign their SEO strategies. Here’s a quick rundown of the most important Google updates, containing essential information that you need to know:
SEO Solution Predicated by Google
Google’s Panda update changed the search algorithm to prioritize quality content, and thus gave validation to content marketing. Because of this update, we now consider content creation to be the most important aspect of SEO.
The Penguin update focused on detecting and penalizing spammy links. As a result, businesses had to re-evaluate their link building strategies to make sure they weren’t contributing to the spam. Nowadays, inbound links are still important, but we recommend that you only pursue them organically (don’t buy them).
Google’s Pigeon update affected only local search results. Nevertheless, this update was especially important for small businesses that rely on local web traffic. The main takeaway from this update was that you need to review all of your local listings and correct any inaccurate information.
Mobile Friendly Update
Google released its “mobile friendly” update recently, which merely identified websites that function well on mobile devices. Since then, Google has clarified that it prefers responsive design and considers a mobile website essential for all organizations. This update made having a mobile friendly website all the more important.
As a response to years of businesses spamming links for a better PageRank, Google released its Hummingbird update so its search algorithm looked at entire phrases, rather than just keywords. This plays an important role in content creation and forces businesses to write around their keywords in a natural way.
The Pirate update penalized websites that illegally contained copyrighted content. Even if your website doesn’t contain links to pirated movies, this update is a reminder that you should cite and source any information you borrow.
Have you ever wondered what happened to those websites that featured tons of ads at the top of the page? After Google released its Top Heavy update, these websites received a penalty and thus, had to reduce their amount of ads. We’d take it a step further and say get rid of any ads on your website altogether.
Exact Match Domain
Some people purchase certain domains that match popular keywords just for the sake of web traffic. Many of these sites had poor content, and Google therefore released its Exact Match Domain update to direct its users to other, more relevant websites. We don’t expect this update to affect your business, unless you’re intentionally targeting irrelevant keywords to boost your web traffic.
Now, as a business owner, you’re not going to get tested on the different names or release dates. Instead, you just need to know the practical implications of the updates and the role SEO plays in your marketing strategy. This can all be summed up in a few bullet points:
- Create original content and write naturally around your keywords
- Review your local listings for accuracy and make changes if necessary
- Have a mobile-friendly website that doesn’t feature many ads
- Don’t engage in black hat SEO tactics or steal content
Google updates are an important aspect of search engine optimization, but they’re a handful to keep up with — even for professionals. To learn more about finding an SEO Solution, or anything else, contact us today