What is SEO or Google’s Panda and Penguin? How do they Affect my Page Rank?

Search engine optimization is when you optimize your on-site content as well as your content off-site for Search Engine’s crawlers. Search engines release crawlers that literally crawl the web and look for new data or updates to existing data. The crawlers take this information and report it back to the search engine who then determines how credible a website is based on the quality of on-site and off-site content. However, there are said to over 200 factors affecting your page rank but a large portion of your placement can be controlled through smart content and proper tagging.

There are four sides to SEO and a lot more to Page Rank, however for brevity’s sake we’ll only discuss SEO:

  • Positive On-Site SEO
  • Negative On-Site SEO
  • Positive Off-Site SEO
  • Negative Off-Site SEO

Once the search engine can justify your credibility and quality of content it will reward you by giving you preference in the search engine result pages. The higher the quality the more Google rewards you, and don’t forget about Bing and Yahoo, they like quality too.

Search Engine Optimization really got a jolt when Google released its high quality algorithm, Panda in April, 2011. Even though this algorithm was released in 2011 to improve the quality of search referrals it still continues to remind us that quality is better than quantity.

In April, 2012, Google released another quality algorithm but this one is targeted at decreasing the prevalence of webspam. Google labels webspam as using blackhat techniques to increase web presence through loophole tactics that don’t benefit the user, but rank the website higher than it deserves.

Some blackhat techniques you should note:

  • Keyword Stuffing – overloading your website with keywords resulting in unnatural looking content.
  • Trolling – Creating an emotional or irrelevant response in order to conjure conversation through any means necessary –even being an ass.
  • Link Schemes – excessive link exchanges, buying or selling links.
  • Cloaking – Misleading users and search engines through different content and URL’s, think re-directs.
  • Duplicate Content – Deliberate duplications in order to trick search engines, seriously though? The jokes on you.
  • Hoaxes – Posts and articles that say they will donate, or award a certain achievement for comments, likes, or shares. I know you’ve seen these on Facebook (100,000 shares and this cute baby girl gets a puppy!)

Google’s Panda Algorithm:

Google’s Penguin Algorithm: 

How do we get good page ranking and build solid SEO that reflects our quality and integrity?

How about good old fashioned, quality networking? Try to build relationships with fellow bloggers, marketers and strengthen your network and communications.
Thought leadership, start a blog that allows guest contributors and open commenting. This will allow people to share worthwhile resources and discuss these topics with interested visitors as well as the website’s staff. Eventually, if the content keeps them coming back you will have fostered a community of though leadership. Another branch of Thought Leadership, which includes many of the same elements of is called Opinion Leadership.

You can also subscribe to Google Webmaster Central Blog’s RSS feed to stay update with the latest Google announcements.

Some points to keep in mind:

  • Don’t be afraid to try – Remember what I said about keyword stuffing, produce your content to provide complete and comprehensive information on the subject. Create something that keeps them coming back.
  • Be nitpicky – All errors should be cleared, dead links, grammar, spelling, check facts –remember journalistic integrity.
  • Be yourself – No, no, no copying. No duplicates either.  Be original.
  • Avoid confusion – Yes, flash is cool and so is making money on advertising, but don’t go and let the ads take over your website.
  • Birds of a feather flock together – Try not to post on blogs or sites that seem shady or sketchy (using blackhat techniques). Google will associate those links with your website and this is a good example of negative off-site SEO.
  • Read lots – Finding inspiration is a big part of being original, take time to read, discover new blogs, writers, designers, illustrators, whatever you find remarkable.
  • Be Social – Share your knowledge and don’t be afraid to share your best tactics either. People come to communities like this to learn, we can all reach our goals if we share what we know.

    Author: Anthony Baisi