11 October 2016 Christine

March of the Penguin! 4 is here to stay

The end of September marked Google’s launch of Penguin 4, an update to their algorithm which stands to change the way we optimise our websites from now on. A few weeks later and the dust has settled, allowing us to comment on just how Penguin 4 will shape the SEO landscape, and what we can do to ensure it benefits your sites.

We’ll take a look two aspects of modern SEO that we think are most relevant to our growing community of membership, charity and non-profit clients.

No more spam

During a site’s lifetime, it gradually picks up more and more attention from referring sites. Most of these are beneficial, as they bring visitors to your site who are likely to engage with its content, however, there are some sites which are simply spam. Google is great at recognising spammy sites, and if they notice your site has a lot of them linked to it, it is more likely to think you’re less reputable and user-friendly than you are. It used to be the case that websites that appeared spammy would be ostracised as a whole; now thanks to Penguin 4, pages are considered individually. This means that Google will ignore just those pages which have attracted spam, meaning you’re not missing out on valuable traffic.

How we can help

Although the Penguin 4 update has lessened the effect of spammy referring sites, they can still be a big problem; luckily one which is easily solved with a little know-how. We have a team of professionals who have over 20 years’ experience in search engine optimisation. We’re well equipped to find out which sites link to yours and weed out – or ‘disavow’ to use the proper term – all sites which are irrelevant, malicious or spammy. This will cleanse your list of referring sites and mean that Google can once again recognise you as the useful, engaging knowledge hub for membership in your sector that you truly are!

Natural is best

Google likes copy that is natural. Years ago, the more ‘keywords’ your copy contained the better it would do in search engines. This led to companies cramming a mess of keywords into their sites which resulted in a confusing user-experience. Google and other search engines are built solely for internet users, and they rely on making sure individuals find what they’re looking for with minimal effort. Therefore if your site’s content is deemed irrelevant by users, search engines will ignore it in favour of more suitable, user-friendly sites.

Since spam signals are now page-based thanks to Penguin 4, it’s more important than ever to know your audience and ensure you’re writing content just for them. The growing use of visual content such as video and infographics means that internet users have shorter attention spans in terms of how much content they will browse before finding what they’re looking for. This latest update means that even if actual copy is minimal, your site can still be seen as long as visitors are getting a useful, engaging experience.

How we can help

Coming up with fresh, original and interesting content on a regular basis is challenging, but essential for the success of a website. There are a multitude of things that a creative digital agency like Senior can provide to help ease the strain; we can write reports and run health-checks on which areas of the site are and aren’t doing well; we can keep design up-to-date with new graphics and imagery; we can write shareable news and blogs; we can create email campaigns, pointing your audience to different areas of the site as well as social media content so this new information get shared.

Contact the team to see how else we can help.

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