Top 10 tips to regain search engine rankings
At the end of February, the engineers at Google made some major changes to the company’s search algorithm – the “secret formula” that controls results you see for any search query, and the order of which it appears. Google keeps the exact algorithm confidential, but major factors have become apparent now that the dust has settled.
It’s Not Just About You
Google isn’t setting out to help or hurt anyone's particular website. The real motive is to give searchers the most relevant results for the keywords typed in. Specific changes weren’t made public, but it’s clear Google went after sites with lots of ads, ones that feature cheap, low-quality writing, websites with high bounce rates (leaving immediately after landing on the site), and sites with high numbers of outbound links.
Will You Notice A Difference?
The update impacted about 12% of search results in the US. There is almost nothing new with the SEO advice one should follow to abide by Google’s Terms of Service, but at times like this, it is important to go back to the basics. Follow these top 10 tips to get back on top and maintain that positioning throughout future updates:
1. Consistently add new content to your company blog. Fresh, original, insightful content is still your best tool in search engine optimization. Continuously updating content to your site’s blog results in high real-time results on Google that may be maintained for the long-term. The farmer update is meant to demote websites with low-quality content, not articles and information that readers find helpful.
2. Stick to only posting links on sites with relevant content. Websites with a common theme and content generally carry more weight than a site covering too many topics. Links on websites without a general topic can actually hurt your cause rather than help. Avoid links on websites unrelated to your site’s core message or topic.
3. Keep the right kind of company. In this new search engine world, having the wrong kinds of friends can cost you. As much as you should keep looking for links from high-quality sites, avoid getting them from content farms and other “spammy” resources. You’ll seem guilty by association.
4. Use Copyscape. This is software that scours the web to ensure that your content is original and not duplicated. You may consider reaching out to some of these websites with a professional yet firm request to delete content copied from your website. In some cases, you may want to rewrite some of your content.
5. Manage your website and clean up low content or duplicate pages. Look through your site from time to time to see if you have content that is duplicated throughout your website. Make sure titles and meta tags are differentiated so Google picks up each page separately. A logical way to begin this process would be to install Google Webmaster Tools.
6. Don’t recycle ideas. Even if you write something that’s “original,” if it’s very similar to what you have on another page – or that can be found in dozens of places across the Web – it’s likely to be deemed uninteresting to searchers, which could ultimately affect your site’s ranking if they click away quickly.
7. Offer the right kinds of links. Just as you don’t want low-quality links to or from the wrong kinds of websites, it’s still a good idea to point people at other high-value sites, or even social profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Doing so shows Google and the other search engines that you’re a genuine source of information online, not just the destination for content.
8. Stay away from overpowering advertisements. A high number of advertisements is one of the ways that factor how Google measures identifying a low-quality site. If you do need to have ads, make sure they don’t overpower your website’s content. Having links to websites dominated by ads may harm your rankings as well.
9. Have a fast website. In recent years, Google has started to pay attention to some of the finer points with their search engine listings and confirmed that how fast your site loads is now a determinant in the algorithm. Not only is a fast website good for SEO but the faster a page loads, the faster your consumers can find what they’re looking for, and the more likely they are to buy.
10. Blogger outreach. Call and email bloggers who write about topics related to your website. Offer to write content and guest posts in exchange for links back to your website. If you sell a product, offer samples in exchange for product reviews and links.
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