Penguins, Algorithms & Search Results
If you haven’t heard, Google just updated their Panda algorithm. It’s now a Penguin.
Should you care?
What’s an algorithm?
An algorithm is a set of rules used to define parameters. In Google’s case, these rules apply to search results.
Search results are everything.
If you’ve ever done a Google search, you know how important it is to show up on the first page of results because few users take the time to scroll beyond that first page.
Bar Fly Optimization
As in trolling for dates, there is a right way and a wrong way to garner attention. Wear black hose, a skimpy black dress, stiletto heels, teased hair and bright red lipstick and you are bound to get some attention. Bar mates will come to one of two conclusions:
1. You’re desperate.
2. You’re shallow.
But wait, you say. You shouldn’t judge by outward appearance!
Tough luck. Everyone does.
Black Hat Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Same goes for SEO, or your attempt to get found in the highest possible position on Google, Yahoo, Bing (or wherever).
Old school SEO believed if you packed your site with keyword(s), you’d have a good chance of getting picked up, er, ranked well.
And that was true. For a while.
But who wants to read a website with copy like this?
Redding Business Copywriting Service offers Copywriting
As a business copywriter from Redding, California, Bizziwriter offers copywriting services to businesses who need copywriting in Redding, CA. When Bizziwriter copywrites your copywriting projects, we use best copywriting practices and appeal to businesses in Redding, CA. For your copywriting needs, please contact Bizziwriter, Redding’s premier copywriting service.
Kind of a turn off. Right?
This copy doesn’t tell you anything except that Bizziwriter copywrites for businesses in Redding, CA.
It doesn’t answer:
What kind of business?
What’s Bizziwriter’s background?
Can Bizziwriter offer anything of value to me?
Can Bizziwriter help me?
And this is just the copy. What you can’t see (the back end SEO) might have been packed with all sorts of additional keywords, some of which would have nothing to do with your business.
Enter Google’s Penguin
In the course of a few years, Google has honed their SEO algorithms to weed out savvy and unscrupulous SEO packers. If you’re looking for copywriting services and a car dealer tops your results, you’re going to question the search tool (and be a little PO’d they’ve wasted your time).
To remain #1, Google needs to deliver relevant results.
What is a relevant result?
A relevant result delivers sites that will answer your question.
Relevant results offer bonafide sites that prove they’re authorities capable of answering your search query.
How do sites prove authority?
Relevant sites will offer quality content. Either they will have the product you are looking for, images you need, or copy that informs and educates. The best ones change frequently, keeping users abreast of industry news, business developments and informed educational blog entries.
Good content will, almost inadvertently, offer Google rich and relevant keywords.
Quality Content is an Art
Google’s Penguin algorithm will reward quality content. But quality content doesn’t happen accidentally. It takes skill to 1) know how to mine effective keywords and 2) incorporate the keywords into relevant copy, with balance, to please algorithms AND 3) be well-written.
Fail at any of these three requirements and you’ve failed to please the Penguin. Therefore, it is a good time to take Aunt Betty out to lunch and tell her that while her efforts at writing for your website have been greatly appreciated, the time has come to move toward a more professionally trained writer and SEO specialist. She’ll be disappointed, of course, but your visibility depends on it.
To make her feel better, maybe you can buy her a stuffed penguin.