This year has gone by in a flash and it’s already the 4th quarter in 2016. So many things have changed this year in the marketing & advertising scene with no sign of slowing down, but change can often times be a good thing.
Way back in April of 2012 Google launched its brand new Penguin update; here’s what was said about the algorithm change at that time:
“After weeks of speculation about an “Over-optimization penalty”, Google finally rolled out the “Webspam Update”, which was soon after dubbed “Penguin.” Penguin adjusted a number of spam factors, including keyword stuffing, and impacted an estimated 3.1% of English queries”
Since then a number of updates have been rolled out for what was at the time Google’s latest pet. With each iteration improvements have been made, that of course means we heard a lot about the dreaded “slap” which some of our friends & colleagues have unfortunately become familiar with.
Years have passed since the initial release of Penguin and with them a handful of updates came and went to Google’s Penguin. It’s now the final quarter of 2016 and the last update to Penguin was made public on September of this year and with it something big happened. Penguin was implemented into the “core” of the search algorithm and made to work in real-time.
How does one ‘beat’ a penguin?
Thanks to the way penguin now handles its job of sniffing out “poor quality” links, a lot of agencies have been kept on their toes. With each new release of this fierce beast you’ll be hard pressed to find a single SEO agency not scurrying to clean up that link portfolio in an attempt to keep from getting smacked off the SERPS.
I guess the question becomes “how do I make sure my own backlinks aren’t making me a target for the penguin?” Well, let’s see what can be done about this so you don’t have to face that dreaded, adorable, completely savage creature of the arctic!
Here’s a good way to keep your backlinks clean & free from penguin attacks!
- Check out your backlink profile using a handy tool. Some tools you can check out for this are:
- Have a look at your backlinks profile, check out the total number of links, look at details like:
- Anchor text, it’s usages & variations.
- Number of unique domains.
- What the difference between total links & linking domains might be.
- The performance of pages with backlinks on them.
- Last but not least of course is over all link quality.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking… “This sure sounds like a lot of work!” and you’re absolutely right; it is. The positive news is that there are more tools you can use if you wanted in order to get the job done with relative ease and they are:
Let’s get technical for a moment
In order to prosper in the SEO game it’s important to keep track of approaching trends in the space. A few developments we’ve seen throughout this year might be a good indication of what’s to come in the following year.
Thanks to some increasingly important changes with Google and overall user trends the emergence of the Schema markup text has taken place.
You might be asking yourself “what is Schema?” Instead of totally butchering what it is and how it’s used I’ll simply point you in the direction of the official source so you can have a look at it for yourself. You can check that out Right Here.
If you are interesting in taking a look at a comprehensive list of all the schema terms then have a look Here.
In a super simplistic summary however, Schema is:
“Schema makes it easier for search engines to understand your site, thereby helping to ensure that it is displayed correctly. Schema can also be particularly helpful when Google decides to display rich answers, such as Quick Answers or a Rich Card.”
Search Results changes are coming
One of the more noticeable changes to recently be rolled out by Google is an increase in the number of characters allowed in the meta data allowed for display by some websites.
This doesn’t yet seem to be something which has taken effect for all search results but for those which can currently take advantage of this increase in real estate it opens up the option to use longer and more enticing descriptions to help attract more eyes to your pages.
Notice the clear difference in the amount of text in each 1st place description above.
Here are a few points to consider when taking advantage of this change:
- Keep using your main keyword at the beginning of your title and meta description.
- The extra space should only be used to expand what’s already there in case Google reverts back.
- If you have a meta description which is less than 100 characters you should increase it ASAP.
A quick word about mobile ready sites
Somewhere in April 2015 Google launched their mobile update which has been dubbed the “Google AMP” which simply stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. Since this initiative took place extra emphasis has been placed on the speed and performance of your websites and pages.
Google is well aware of the fact that slow load-times tends to hurt the user experience which is why a tiny one second delay can result in as high as a 7% reduction in conversions. Ouch!
Google AMP was initially created for news sites. This works by basically stripping away all the extras of a website, helping it load faster overall. According to Google, using AMP can improve loading speeds by as much as 15 to 85% which is an obvious gap between each side of that scale. What this means is that how much your site could benefit from this would depend on how optimized it already is.
If you would like to learn more about the AMP project then have a look at this Link Here.
SEO will never be dead…but when trying to scale rapidly as an affiliate marketer…its by far one of the most tedious and un-exciting ways to get traffic. There is so much information available to you from so many different sources it’s difficult to keep track of even a fraction. This means it’s important to seek out the best you can find in an effort to truly advance your own SEO skills and earning potential… that’s where we come in.
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