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How to beat the next Google Penguin update?

Many websites experienced a major decline in visitors in the last Penguin update and this was due to the penalties that Google inflicted to webspam. As a website owner there are ways to avoid this and ensure your rankings are maintained and we’ve covered it in this article.

Google rolled out Penguin 2.0 back in May 22, 2013 and many webmasters, SEO’s and bloggers were trying to understand what to do to avoid being penalised or how to recover from a penalty.

Unfortunately, for some website owners, Penguin led to a significant drop in traffic and according to Matt Cutts about 2.3% of English US queries were affected to the degree that a regular searcher might notice. This was the fourth update from Google and the target was webspam and catching websites deemed to be spamming Google search results.

Although Google has been silent about the next roll out, it is expected that a new update is due before the close of 2013 and its function will be similar to the last four updates; and that’s to weed out spam sites from search results.

To beat the next Google penguin update and maintain your search rankings and even improve them, you will need an effective all-round strategy and we’ve included below some of the things you need to do or avoid:

  • Create Great Content

Creating great content should be a priority for any webmaster that’s serious about his or her search engine rankings. You should be proud of your content and always create it with your visitors in mind and the search engine robots too. According to Matt Cutts, Google’s head of webspam, your time is better spent creating great content and steering clear away from anything that doesn’t add value to your visitors needs.

Your content should be lively and should address your visitors’ needs and it should include amazing pictures that are well optimised with alt tags. Where available it should also include videos – and the benefit of adding such media is that it reduces bounce rates and increases the stickiness of your web pages.

  • Natural Link Building

Our next advice is to avoid any artificial link building for your website. Google Penguin is particularly focused on this SEO task which is abused by website owners to improve their rankings using questionable methods. Some unnatural methods to avoid include buying links and acquiring links from bad neighbourhoods.

The best way to acquire links is by creating great content that will get a lot of attention and will receive many links from forums and websites that have found your website to be valuable. A few of these quality links could greatly increase your rankings and avoid the dreaded Google penalties.

Google now includes a page in Webmaster tools that notifies you if your site has been penalised for webspam and it tells you want to do to recover it.

  • Engage Social Media Marketing

You should be actively engaged on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and other social media sites and help build trust and brand awareness. The obvious benefit is that it helps to increase search rankings and the links acquired from these sources look natural in Google’s eyes.

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