Google has been tightening the screws on cheaters – black hatters who try to pull tricks on search engines to artificially improve their rankings in searches. It sometimes also affects optimization practitioners who think they’re white hatters but are skirting the edges of the rules or simply trying to compete with others who are skirting the rules. With Panda, Penguin, and the new EMD algorithm, it’s getting harder to manipulate the page to improve your page ranking. But not impossible.
I’ve talked in earlier articles about how to avoid getting caught up in algorithm changes: Follow the search engine guidelines. I’ve been doing it for years and have yet to suffer a set back for doing the right thing. Here is a brief synopsis of how to handle these three relatively new dangers to SEO:
Quality Content (Panda Filters)
- Provide unique, well written content created for the reader not for the search engines.
- Don’t repeat content and handle material from content farms with caution.
- Forget about content aggregation and do your own content.
Quality Coding (Penguin Filters)
- Avoid spam techniques.
- Optimize your site to be found not to rank high on search engines.
- Write for the reader not for the search engines.
- Follow search engine guidelines in spirit as in rule.
I haven’t said much yet about the new EMD algorithm but it can be no less lethal to the spammer:
Domain Name Pages (Exact Match Domain or EMD Algorithm)
- Optimizers who otherwise follow search engine guidelines should be fine
- Use an exact-match domain but write content natural to your audience and don’t exaggerate keywords to over-emphasize the domain.
- SEOs who keyword spam to match the EMD will lose ranking – find a more natural mix!
I have seen mixed results on exact-match domains. One client with a domain name match has improved ranking because we have followed guidelines – a competitor who does not has been blown out of the water.
Losing ranking from any of these filters or algorithms is avoidable. And making your website visible to your audience or customer is doable. The search engines are going to continue tightening the screws on cheaters, and you don’t have to get caught between their screws.