Our SEO team have noticed some changes on google as of late. It seems there has been 3 updates within the last month. Good article here – It’s a bit techie – but with good comments on google spamming algorithm and various monitoring tools in use.
Keyword optimisation is one of the main foundations or building blocks to successful SEO. Here is a little secret – people/organisations find your business online through KEYWORDS. Therefore keyword building, analysis and implementation are crucial for rankings.
5 Point Plan
- Clarify what your business offers in short bullet points
- Gather employees to brainstorm on possible keywords
- Determine keywords and use strategically
- Make use of the Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) element of the Google keyword tool – basically this allows the Google search engine to recognise synonyms -using the tool Google Keyword Tool type in the keyword and scroll to bottom of results page and integrate Google’s synonym suggestions.
- Incorporate the keywords into your website – Ensure keywords that are in the title tag and Meta description match up – offers a much stronger case to Google
Looker V’s Buyer!
When building keywords it is very important to distinguish between ‘looker’ keywords and ‘buyer’ keywords. We will present an example in relation to an Irish US market entry firm. A ‘looker’ keyword would be something like ‘US market entry strategies’ – possibly a student looking for material or ideas whereas a buyer keyword may be something ‘New York Market entry assistance 2012’. This keyword example is a long tail keyword that is geo specific and time relevant. Making an effort to develop distinct long-tail keywords can really work well in a niche market where potential buyers usually know exactly what they require.
Building on the previous point, we would like to demonstrate the long tail theory developed by Chris Anderson. The long tail theory is a simple idea that segments keyword types into three categories:
- Long tail
The head of search is typically a one-word keyword that is generic – roughly 10% of searches relate this section. The mid section accounts for 15% of the action and long tail searches make up the remaining 75% of searches. Most people/organisations will try to target the mid-section, however these words are very hard to rank for competitive generic reasons. Longer tail keywords are much easier to rank and we would recommend that SMEs and niche businesses try to build up a pool of long tail keywords, which will result in substantial traffic in the long run. Furthermore long tail keywords tend to be buyer type keywords (user specifies needs in search)
NO NO’s !!
When optimising the website with keyword integration, do not use black hat tactics like ‘keyword stuffing’ in the title tag or meta description. Make it look natural and human readable. Google is constantly trying to make the search engine human comprehensive. This is something to keep in mind when updating your website and content!
Google Keyword Tool
Matt Cutts recently announced via Twitter that Google has made a minor algorithm update to reduce ‘low quality’ exact match domains. Basically Google is targeting and penalising low quality websites that are ‘piggy-backing’ off their URLs to gain high rankings in the search engine result pages (SERPs) for matching keyword queries. Traditionally if a Google user searches for ‘green widget’, the website [www.greenwidget.com] would appear highly in the SERPs based on the fact that the query term matched the URL exactly even if the website offers little value to a user.
This Google algorithm update is another significant signal that the user is the most important element of the search engine and that content and quality is king. In fact this is a vindication for the Enhance team. Although our URL does not specify our primary services (i.e. web design), we are pleased to see that Google is trying to disregard this and reward high quality user centric websites. Barry Schwartz, News Editor at Search Engine Land, released a concise informative piece on the algorithm update and highlighted that the update will affect 0.6% of the English-US search queries.
What does search engine optimization (SEO) and an endangered mammal, The Panda, have in common? Absolutely nothing! The Google Panda update was aptly named after the Google software engineer, Navneet Panda, the individual responsible for developing the Google algorithm update. This update has changed SEO forever and has reaffirmed that content is king.
Maybe you were not aware of this but Google is trying to develop an algorithm that is responsive to the human mind rather than a machine. In other words Google wants to present the best search engine results based on human perceptions and engagement. Panda is a major stepping-stone to achieving this ‘ideal’ search engine world.
Panda operates through a machine learning process. In simple terms, the process analyzes a bunch of websites using all kinds of different metrics to try and figure out why people like a website or more significantly why people do not like a website. For example, bounce rates would be a significant metric used by the Panda update. Basically if human users are consistently bouncing (i.e. abruptly leaving) from a website’s landing page on the first impression, a red flag will be raised and the website will subsequently be downgraded in the rankings. In essence the Panda update seeks to discover if a website evokes positive feelings from visitors and this can be measured through user engagement with a website.
So what has the Panda update really changed?
Rand Fishkin and the team at SEOmoz presented a short informative ‘Whiteboard Friday’ video clip about the important issues surrounding the Panda update.
- The design of a website is now more important than ever. The Panda update has put a primary emphasis on the user experience. Websites that engage visitors and websites that are easily accessible and easy to navigate around are key to enhancing the user experience.
- As we all know Google penalizes websites that present duplicate content. The Panda update signifies another significant shift towards the importance of content in relation to SEO. When developing content for your website try to make it as unique as possible by using descriptions, anecdotes, photos, similes and humour etc. If you can create interesting content visitors are more likely to engage with your content and may even go as far as sharing the content. The Panda update will recognize engaging content and reward a website significantly.
- User usage metrics are now more important that ever. Website administrators should optimize their website based on key analytics. For example, Panda will rank your website negatively if visitors are bouncing straight off your website. Alternatively if the visitors continue to browse though the website Google will rank the website favorably. Furthermore low levels of click through rates (CTR) will adversely affect a website’s Google ranking. Optimizing the title of the landing pages, snippet and the domain name will go some way to ensuring that a website does not appear ‘spammy’ in search engine result pages. Panda will even examine the diversity and quantity of traffic coming into the website, for example geo-locations must be consistent and relevant to the website’s ‘target location’. Google analytics is a key tool that will help you optimize your website and keep up to date with Google and the Panda update.
Note: The Panda update recalculates the index metrics every 40 days on average.