Algorithms: What you need to know about SEO

Have you ever heard of “search engine algorithms”? These are programs and formulas search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, use to rank websites. These algorithms (usually with animal names) can either propel your website to the top or send it plummeting to the bottom of the search results.

Google Algorithm

Recently, Google released the Pigeon update. The game is yet again set to change, making local SEO even more important to your business than ever before.

Today, I will discuss Google’s major algorithms and how they can affect your website.

Black hat magic tricks = Google penalty

As Google becomes more intelligent, it is becoming increasingly difficult to cheat the system by resorting to cheap tactics to increase a website’s ranking. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing, article spinning and backlink networks.

Google is punishing websites that are violating the rules of its search engine guidelines, ensuring businesses that break the rules – however inadvertently – are penalised. Just like performing electrical work without qualifications is dangerous, doing DIY SEO could do a lot more harm than good.

Google’s Penguins can be vicious

Google’s Penguin algorithm update released in April 2012 caused chaos in the search engine results pages (SERPs) as it put an end to SEO techniques that violated its guidelines. As a result, some websites are still recovering, and the long road to recovery is not cheap.

If your business has been affected by the update, a backlink audit is generally needed to seek out unnatural backlinks.

Note: Google is currently working on a Penguin algorithm update, so make sure you get your backlinks sorted before the update comes into effect.

Don’t let Google’s Panda squash you

The Google Panda algorithm lowers the rank of low quality and thin websites. To stay immune to this algorithm, you need to invest in original high-quality content. Recently, I wrote an article about eBay being affected by Panda 4.0, so don’t think you won’t get caught if your website isn’t up to par.

Content Marketing

Outsourcing copywriting projects to overseas contractors may seem like an economically viable decision, but the fact is you cannot fool Google. A better move is to invest in a content marketing strategy.

Content marketing has become an important ingredient of a successful SEO campaign. Promoting your business with unique, interesting and useful content to your target audience should be part of your overall marketing strategy.

Social media is the future

There are predictions that social media will play a significant role in the future of search engine rankings. I believe it already is. From my studies, I’ve seen a close correlation between social signals (shares, likes, comments, tweets, etc.) and search engine rankings. The reason why social signals are so important is because they serve as essential votes of confidence for your website: the more votes, the more reputable your website is. Google looks closely at such signals.

Social media sites like Facebook encourage interaction between users and your brand. Businesses are jumping on board as they discover that interacting with their users is a great way to promote their brands.  Beyond that, a good social media strategy could increase your company’s search engine ranking.

So, what’s next?

As discussed throughout this article, it is extremely risky to perform SEO yourself. Do you really want to put your business’s future in the hands of some cheap SEO company? With SEO, there is a lot more than meets the eye, so invest wisely.

Digital Marketing

Make sure you look for a digital marketing agency that has an experienced team that offers content and social marketing services.

Find out how the team at Titan Digital can assist you with your online needs.