The SEO landscape has changed significantly over the last few months with a series of algorithm changes that have made online marketers have to rethink the way they implement on page optimisation. The goal of any algorithm update is to improve search results. The main aim of the penguin update as announced by Google was to better catch people who spam its search results or purposely do things to rank better that are against Google’s publishers guidelines. As a result many businesses that were ranking well suddenly saw their rankings drop drastically with many seeing huge drops in traffic.
The launching of the algorithm change targeted web spam. The change saw a decrease in rankings for sites that were believed to be violating Google’s quality guidelines. The algorithm represented another step in Google’s efforts to reduce web spam and promote high quality content.
The penguin update is a new algorithm update released by google to target webspam. The Penguin update went live on April 24, 2012. Many websites saw there rankings drop as their current SEO efforts violated Googles new guidelines.
What is web spam?
Google focussed on Pages that were trying to gain better rankings through things like:
- Repeating Keywords in H1, H2 and H3 Titles
- Purposeful duplicate content
- Over use of Keyword in Title Tag
- Excessive use of keywords in Body Text
- Link Schemes
Put keywords in the page URL
The page title is one of the most critical things that Google and other Search engines take into account to determine what is on a web page. When they index your page, the title will be the first thing that they will index. To improve your on page optimisation, your main keyword or phrase should be in your title, and should also be kept short. The page title should follow these guidelines:
Best Practices For Post Penguin On Page Optimisation
Put keywords in the page URL
- You should use your keyword or phrase in the URL of the web page – either the folder/directory structure or the HTML file/page name itself.
- Your title should be under 70 characters with no more than two keywords per page title
- Try and have your primary keyword appear first
- Each keyword phrase should be separated by pipes (|)
- Do not use the exact same keyword in other heading such as H2 as the Google will see this as spam
- Each page title on your website should be unique
Put your Keywords in your Body Text
Placing the keyword you are targeting in your page content also signals to search engines that the page is actually about that particular keyword and should show up in search results. Previously SEO consultants would advise you to use your keyword anywhere from 4-6 times though we would now recommend a maximum of 3 times. Optimising your keywords in the body text should follow these guidelines:
- Use your Keywords in your main body text of your article
- Use other keyword variations throughout your body text
- Have your keyword appear in your body text a max of 3 times.
- Do not over optimise your keywords in the main text
- Avoid keyword stuffing as this will be seen as web spam
- When writing a page, consider what your page is about and add useful links to other related pages on your website
- Write naturally
If you are using images for your content, these should be used on the page and be optimised so that search engines can “read” the image easily. You can easily edit an image’s ALT text via the HTML. ALT text. Make sure you do not include any dashes.
Use Keywords in the alt text but don’t stuff it with keywords
Use one language per page. You shouldn’t mix languages on the same page. Even though you might think this will help your website visitors understand that the website is based out of another country, it will not help your overall user experience.
- Put keywords in the Meta Data
- Place your keywords in Your Header Text
- Make sure that it is under 150 characters but over 100 characters
- Also provide a compelling reason for why visitors should want to visit your page
- Also Include your target keywords in a conversational format
- Don’t just cram in keywords for the sake of including them
While the page Meta data is not nearly as important as they used to be, they are still important considerations when you are looking to optimise your website successfully. They can be useful by allowing you to put your keyword or phrase in there.
The header text, or H1 text, is usually the title of an article or some larger bold text at the top of your page. Google and the smaller search engines can see this and they put extra importance on the words in the H1 text. Make sure your target keyword or phrase is there.
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