Major search engines, like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, are continuously tweaking and updating their search engine algorithms to provide customers — their search engine users — with the best possible experience. Using several factors, search engine algorithms decide if a website is valuable, relevant, and worthy enough to appear prominently in the search engine results.
In many cases, small algorithm changes go largely unnoticed. But every once and a while, the search engine companies shake things up and make changes to their search engine algorithms that cause mass confusion and hysteria (i.e. Panda).
While we don’t know all the secrets of search engine algorithms, there are some ways to protect your website from search engine updates.
1) Concentrate on quality – If your online content isn’t up to par, search engines will now it and rank your website accordingly. Search engine algorithms are intelligent and know good vs. poor content when they see it.
2) Socialize – Social media now plays a role in algorithm ranking. When a linked in shared through social media — particularly if it is shared frequently — it’s an indicator of trust. Creating a strong social media presence based on sharing quality content and communication is essential today.
3) Avoid over-optimizing – While it’s important to include relevant keywords and keyword phrases in your online content, don’t over do it. Not only will this put readers off, but the search engine will notice and penalize you accordingly in lower rankings.
4) Build quality links – A smaller number of relevant, quality links is better than a larger number of low quality, random links.
5) Diversity your content – While your online presence starts with your website, you need to strengthen your online real estate portfolio in other ways. Publishing a blog, participating in social media communities, and producing articles, guides, whitepapers, infographics, newsworthy press releases, e-books, videos, and podcasts will leave you less vulnerable when the next search engine update comes around.
The days of stuffing websites with keywords and tag words in order to get noticed by search engines is becoming a thing of the past. Higher quality websites that don’t artificially attempt to increase their rankings will see more favorable results, while lower quality websites that over use search engine optimization and unethical practices will end up further down the list.