With all the recent changes in the search world, I am proud of the fact that we started focusing on Local, Social, Blogging, SEO and more recently mobile; over a year ago. I know how lucky we are to be in this position. The truth is anything could have happened – it just so happened that Google went local around when we did. Focusing on unique and real content has always been our goal and that has helped us keep up with the changes as they occur. At Turn The Page we are continuously thankful for smart phones which we believe are the main drivers behind the changes. If you are a local business you should be too; because they are helping drive you new business. To take advantage you should be aware of these three changes which we believe are a point of focus for Google when tracking abuse in SEO.
SEO Changes are undeniable
Google made 50 changes to their search algorithm just last month and some of those changes appear to rip at accepted (and not so accepted) SEO practices. A big “given” in our industry is the saying that “content is Queen” that is the one big consistent, Content itself is not enough in itself, ideally your content is unique, interesting and relevant. We know those SEO components to be true and so far Google has never messed with this premise. Sure there is now a freshness and a local piece to the way content is viewed but what makes content good for the reader and search engines is still basically the same.
So What Has Changed?
It is interesting – Google has always said to focus on the reader not the Search Engine and the changes reflect this advice. Overdone SEO for the Search Engines sake is potentially due to be penalized. Where Google draws the line and decides what constitutes overdone SEO is still a very blurry line. From the list of changes and some hints dropped by Googlers; there are some areas that we can look at as the most likely areas of focus.
We think Page Title have become a subject of abuse. It is extremely common for page titles to be completely written for SEO. Overloading the page title maybe one of the areas penalized by Google. An overloaded Page Title is basically a series of keywords written directly for the Search Engines as follows:
Home Loans | Loans for Homes | Home Lender
This Page Title maybe considered overdone. Remember when reviewing a Page Title for authenticity the litmus test is: Is it useful to the searcher? Compare the above to
A. N. Other Home Loans | Loans for Homes in Kansas City | Trusted Home Lender
Although it may seem subtle it is obvious the second is written more for the reader and provides more beneficial information without being as keyword targeted.
Link Filled Footers
This is old style SEO at its worst. The classic is lists of city names defining area the business serves. This tactic is easy to define and penalize and we believe it is probably on Google’s hit list. The basic rule f0r anchor text is if you cannot use it in a regular fashion within your content then its for the Search Engines. Keep your footers for their regular purpose copyright, address, etc.
Cruddy Back Links
This one is difficult to define and correct. Google has already started penalizing Link Directory links. So it is definitely an area of concern. If you are getting links in any environment that is an organized link exchange this now seems to be a potential area for concern. The basic rule here is if it feels like cheating then it is likely to be penalized.
We believe these changes are beneficial for people genuinely developing a quality web presence. They make it more apparent that your web presence should be written for the reader not the engine. We recommend a review of your current SEO plans and if they are out of line; bring them in line to avoid a fall in results.