As an online business owner, the latest updates to Google’s search algorithm might be a bit dizzying. It seems like recently there’s been more than one Google Panda update or data refresh this quarter, and only those dedicated to understanding SEO have been able to keep up. Even if you use a SEO/PPC company to handle all your inbound marketing, you need to understand what is changing. The impact on small businesses is especially significant, so it’s worth knowing what’s going onto recover from the changes.
First, there are two parts of Google’s ranking algorithm that get talked about a lot and updated regularly: Panda and Penguin. The August 19th data refresh was not a Google Panda update, per se, but it did only focus on that part of the algorithm. Panda is concerned with the actual quality of the site and page content. It aims to de-rank thin sites in favor of higher quality sites.
In its Tweet about the update, Google referenced a May post on its Webmaster Blog about the kinds of questions that influence its idea of quality. It references things like how trustworthy the writer seems, the technical quality of the writing, and whether there’s anything new or insightful. Penguin, was rolled out earlier this summer, and focuses on black-hat SEO practices like unnatural links, and decreasing search rankings or even de-indexing sites that have violated Webmaster Guidelines in using those techniques.
The August data refresh supposedly affected less than 1% of all search results. Unfortunately, Google has made no information available about what its refreshes do, except to say that they should have minimal impact. Data refreshes can sometimes affect sites accidentally. So you can’t do much besides watch analytics and work on improving your site’s link profile.
A small business’ SEO company should be in charge of focusing on the quality of onsite content. But as the owner and expert about your business and industry, you can be far more effective than the SEO pros. Their strength lies in keyword density, optimizing wireframes, internal linking, and generating inbound links.
Google’s main concern is about relevance and the user experience. You’re going to be the best at bringing that quality, so you should work with your SEO team to make sure everything on your site is accurate, helpful, and polished. The less questionable your site, the harder it will be for a data refresh or Google Panda update to lower your ranking.
Learn more about Google’s latest updates at http://www.wpromote.com and get more information on how working with an SEO company can increase your traffic and increase your visibility online.