Does Your SEO Service Provider Ensure Compliance with Google's Penguin and Panda Updates?

office-625893_1280-300x184  While Google attaches cute animal names to its algorithm updates like ‘Penguin” and “Panda”, these updates are viewed by many SEO service providers as anything but cute and cuddly. Google makes hundreds of changes to its algorithms every year.  And while we don’t hear about most of these changes, some of these updates get a whole lot of press like Penguin and Panda because  they’re deemed more important than others from a ranking standpoint.

It’s important that business owners in {ip:cityName} know about the most important updates Google makes to its algorithms because violating any of Google’s SEO guidelines will drastically affect a website’s rankings. If Google penalizes a website for not being compliant to its rules, that site will drop into oblivion in the search engine result pages to drastically affect the given business. So before your business gets slapped by Google, read our short guide on the Google Penguin and Panda updates so you know what they mean to your business.

Panda – Designed to Wipe Out Web Spam

Google’s Panda algorithm update was released in April 2012 to weed out websites publishing low quality content. The second version of this spam-busting algorithm was released in May of this year. According to Google, low quality content is:

Content That’s “Thin” – Thin content is content deemed too short or which doesn’t add value to the topic it is about. In other words, thin content is published solely for the purpose of getting one more page online.

Spun or Re-purposed Content – Google penalizes sites that spin content. Content spinning refers to the practice of taking a written piece like an article and replacing certain words, phrases or sentences with alternatives and them republishing it under the guise that it’s a brand new piece of content.

Keyword-Driven Content – We’ve all seen awful content while browsing the web that doesn’t make any sense. This type of content is screaming with an overabundance of keywords designed to “trick” the search engines into ranking the page higher. But the Panda algorithm cannot be fooled as it will effectively sniff out spun content wherein Google penalizes the site publishing it.

Duplicate Content – It’s a really bad idea to take content from other websites and publish on your own. Google is quick to catch this practice and devalue the duplicate content plus doing this can result in some serious copyright issues.

Google’s spam boss, Matt Cutts says that instead of producing spam, websites should be built so that people visiting a site will want to tell their friends about it and bookmark it for future reference.

Penguin – Devalues Sites That Build Unnatural Links to Push Themselves Up in Google

The Penguin algorithm was released in April 2012 with the main goal being to reduce the trust Google puts in sites that have cheated by building unnatural backlinks in order to rank high in Google. A link is like a vote to a site. If a well-respected site links to your site, it is like your site getting a vote of recommendation. If a smaller, unknown site links to your site this vote won’t count for as much as a vote from a high authority site does. But still, if you can acquire many of these small votes, they can make a difference. This is why SEO providers would work hard to obtain as many backlinks as possible from anywhere possible.

Google announced when Penguin was released that this update was designed to reduce the rankings of low quality sites that don’t provide any value and which copy content from other sites. In other words, the search giant designed this update to weed out low quality sites that simply are non-useful.

How These Updates Affect Your Business

“Google slap” is a term used often among SEO providers to describe what happens when Google finds a site in violation of its guidelines. A Google slap or penalty is imposed for websites violating Google’s rules and this penalty can be subtle or very severe – depending upon what guidelines were violated. In the worst case scenario, a business website can be completely removed from the search results, making it extremely difficult to recover from. Regardless of what type of penalty Google slaps your site with, it could lead to a huge drop in traffic and a bit hit to your online reputation. And if you’re not getting any traffic, you’re not getting visitors, leads or making sales and we all know where that road leads.

The hardest part of being penalized for violating Google’s guidelines is recovering. Many long hours must be spent cleaning your site which involves a lot of work like removing spammy backlinks and more. You also will need to rethink your SEO tactics and possibly even switch to a new SEO provider that will ensure you won’t become a victim of a Google penalty. This is why it’s so important to use a trusted and reputable SEO service provider that keeps in step with all the algorithm updates Google performs.

How to Know if Your SEO Provider is Keeping In Step with SEO Best Practices

Because most entrepreneurs are very busy people focused on running their businesses, most put their trust in SEO service providers to handle the technical aspects of their websites and their online presence. In fact, it’s very common for a business owner in {ip:cityName} to put his or her full trust in the SEO provider they choose.

This is why it’s imperative to use a SEO services provider that you’re sure is being compliant with Google’s guidelines. There are far too many stories out there about business owners in {ip:cityName} who’ve been completely blindsided when they learned their sites received a big Google slap that sent them tumbling down through the search results into complete oblivion.

Here are some indicators that your SEO services provider is keeping itself up-to-date with SEO best practices.

It Only Produces Quality, Fresh Content

A good SEO provider knows that high quality content should be written for the target audience and not just for getting a site to rank higher in the search engines. What is high quality content? It’s content that is deemed interesting, unique, valuable and useful by the people reading it. If your SEO provider takes the time to understand your business, target market and your products and services and is producing interesting content your target audience will deem useful, interesting and value, you probably don’t have much to worry about in this area.

It Builds Natural Links for Your Site

The SEO services provider you use should tell you and demonstrate that it works hard to build natural backlinks for your site by publishing high quality content that’s engaging and share-worthy.

Uses Social Media to Spread Your Content Broad and Wide

A good SEO services provider will use social media to spread your quality content across the digital environment. You can expect a great SEO provider to work hard to earn you all the likes, shares, re-tweets and pluses it can so that your site is seen by Google as a trusted with  authority.

Considers Spam a Four-Letter Word

Your SEO services provider should hate spam and everything that comes with it. No reputable SEO company is ever involved in spamming in order to help its clients get ahead. You should never use an SEO provider that does things like routinely submittng useless articles to article submission sites or posting spammy comments in industry forums using keyword-heavy anchor texts.

Offers Both On-Page & Off-Page Optimization

You need to be very sure that the SEO provider you use not only optimizes the content on your website but also your navigation, SEO tags and overall website structure. When this is done correctly, your site will be easily navigated and liked by your visitors and optimally crawled by the search engines –- resulting in a winning combination that will positively affect your bottom line.

Dealing with Google’s Algorithm Updates

If you’re wondering if recovering from Panda and Penguin penalties is a difficult and time-consuming thing to do, the answer is a resounding “Yes”. If you’ve been hit with a Google slap because you didn’t follow its guidelines, you need to roll up your sleeves and get to work because there are bad links and poor content to find and remove and lots more to do. Better yet, find a new SEO services provider you can trust to help you out of the hole you’re in and move you forward in the right direction while ensuring you’ll never again be penalized by Google.

When you work with us, you can rest assured that your SEO services provider is always up-to-date with the latest SEO trends and algorithm updates. We never have and never will use any “black hat” SEO tactics, spammy techniques or the over-optimization of your site. Our focus is on creating high quality, fresh, valuable content while building links the natural way by using social media, maximizing Google+ and conducting thorough on and off-page optimization.

Isn’t it time you gave us a call to set up your free, no obligation SEO consultation? Instead of making you empty promises like most SEO providers do, we’ll get to know you and your goals and then customize a service that specifically meets the unique needs of your business. We want your business to succeed and grow and SEO is what we do!  look forward to meeting you soon!

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