The constant changes to how Google ranks search results mean you need to take steps to protect your site from Google’s algorithmic changes. Instead of searching for quick fixes and following the latest trends, it’s best to elevate and take a long-term approach to your search engine marketing approach.
Ways to Protect a Website from Google Algorithm Updates
Content Really IS King
Content on your site needs to be relevant and contain your targeted keywords. The web is changing. People are over-saturated with low-quality content and are now looking for highly informative, highly engaging content. Additionally, they are now becoming visual consumers and want their information and news to be delivered with lots of eye candy and multi-media. So instead of churning out lots of low-quality articles or descriptions, focus on creating a few high-quality pieces with a variety of media that your audience will genuinely value.
Remove Unnecessary Web Pages
When searching your site on Google click on the link that is at the bottom of the last page to see omitted search results. This can show you duplicate content you need to remove. Make sure you clean up all 404’s and if you have pages that have moved, use 301 redirects from the old pages to the new pages.
Check for Duplicate Content
Google does not like to see too much duplicate content or it can penalize your site in search results. Use CopyScape to determine if you have duplicate content indexed. Perhaps others are stealing your content or your shopping cart is creating multiple pages. If this is the case, you canonical tags in order to indicate to Google what is the primary URL for each of the pages.
Create an Account with Google’s Webmaster Tools
This will allow you to see how Google is indexing your site, set your primary URL, see 404’s and other crawling errors, etc.
Promote on Social Media
Social Engagement is now a ranking factor with Google. The engines are trending towards seeing all users as content publishers via their social channels and are tracking how a user engages with sites. Pages that are highly liked on Facebook, re-tweeted, and +1’ed will rank better. Create active social channels where you are engaging with others and encouraging others to engage with your content. In the long-term, creating active channels will help you with the popularity contest that has become SEO, and will keep your site performing well.
- Tips to Drive Social Media Traffic Towards Your Blog
- How Facebook and Other Social Media Can Promote Your Business
Check All Your Backlinks
Links to your website or web pages that have been added to questionable sites can harm the ranking of your site on Google. Use tools such as Link Detox to look at your backlinks and see which ones are “toxic”. Once you’ve identified toxic backlinks, start a campaign whereby you contact those sites owners and request them to remove links to your site.
- Try to keep users on your site as long as possible. Use plugins where your users are shown other relevant pages so they will read more than one page.
- Establish editorial content and publish content consistently. Try to create multimedia content at least once a month: Infographics, videos, webinars, white papers, and tutorials.
- Invite contributors so you can gain content from other sources
Most importantly, stay clear from buying links, blog link networks, and other link schemes. It’s better to build slowly and surely than to accrue penalties that can be impossible to remove. Slow and steady wins the race!