Google Penguin is Good for Web Content Writers
On April 24, 2012, when Google made changes that updated their data with a program called Google Penguin, there was so much uproar from web content writers that I could hardly see through the madness. But, now that things have settled down a little, I can see Google’s reasoning behind Penguin. Much more, I can see the reasoning behind Google Panda, a previous change initiated on February 24, 2011. I must now admit that, as a content writer for the internet, I am happy that Google is updating their programs.
Google Levels the Playing Field for Content Writers
Manipulative techniques designed to trick search engines to rate web sites higher, resulted in allowing poorly written content to reach the top of search engine results pages. Since people use the internet as a resource for information, it was frustrating to find blatantly irrelevant content showing up at the top of the page.
To counter the issue of poor content ranking high, Google launched Google Panda . The goal of Google Panda was to decrease the value of low quality web sites so that high quality web sites could appear at the top of the search results page. The first “hits” content writers saw with Google Panda was a significant drop in visitors to their web site. However, writers who wrote material consistent in a particular niche, without a lot of advertising, tricky gimmicks, and who did not have a plethora of ads and links to and from their web pages saw less of a decrease than, say, writers whose web pages were littered with ads, links, and promotional material.
Later, to truly clean up the crumbs, so to speak, Google initiated Google Penguin. The Penguin didn’t change any algorithms or anything like that. No. Basically, the Penguin was initiated to clean up the web place a little. By clean up I mean, now search engines look at web pages, first and foremost, for relevancy. They look to see that the title is representative of the content. They look at how many links you have on your web page to determine whether your page is a page that provides useable information or if it is simply a page that provides promotional material. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it is OK to promote your products and services on the internet, I’m just saying, the search engines look at your web page to determine, based upon content, what type of page it is and whether or not your web page delivers on what is promised in the title. If you provide good quality, reliable content, then your web page is more likely to be ranked higher than if it was heavily laden with keywords simply to promote links to affiliate programs and irreverent advertisements.
Valuable Content versus Rich Keywords
Many web content writers were taught the game of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) through keyword analyzation. We even have tools that help us tweak titles and content to assure that we have choice keywords in the title and throughout the content that we write. We are conscientious about backlinks and how they affect our status and ranking on search engine pages. This is all great and it helps us get our web page higher up the scale. We are rewarded with visitors to our web page and our content is read.
All that we learned about SEO was useful and things worked out great until companies started utilizing overzealous techniques to manipulate their rankings. Companies started “hiding” keywords in their content by typing superfluous keywords throughout their site and then making those keywords disappear on the page by having the keywords the same color as the background. Humans could not see these hidden keywords, but search engines are not humans; search engines are digital and could detect these unscrupulously placed keywords. Visitors managed to find these uncanny sites, so companies felt justified in using this technique. Other “savvy” companies hired SEO experts who promised to get their page ranked to the number one position. Some of the techniques used were temporary at best and bogus at worse. In any event, a lot of it was not in the spirit of providing useable content to readers. The name of the game was, “Get this site to the top.” I don’t sit in judgment. Like many content writers, I have occasionally laced content with keywords in an effort to make it more “relevant”, as they say in the SEO world. But, since I have grown wiser, I lean less toward hyping up my content with keywords and more toward providing the best information possible for readers. In other words, I prefer to provide valuable content than rich keywords.
Example of a natural link.
Let’s say you write content for pet owners. A visitor comes to your site and likes it. This visitor happens to be a pet food supplier and places a link on their web site to your web site. This is a natural link. If your web site links to a pet owner’s blog, that’s also a natural link.
Analyze Your Site
Since the release of Google Panda and the subsequent release of Google Penguin, search engines are geared toward searching for web content that provides valuable and relevant information matched to the search criteria. In order for your web content to be found, your web content needs to provide the information readers are looking for. Take time now to analyze your site to determine if your site falls into the danger zone and possibly ignored in search engine results. Make sure you do the following:
- Avoid paid links to and from your website. Google engines search to see that the links to and from your web site are natural links.
- Avoid spammy comments. Take more control of comments left on your web site. Read all comments prior to accepting them. Make sure comments are relevant to the topic of your content. If you currently have spam on your web site, delete it. It’s not helping you in any way; in fact, it is hurting the relevance of your content.
Google Search Results Page
Relevance is the Key
Google Penguin is a moot issue these days. The penguin has already done its job. Now, it is the writers’ turn to do their jobs by writing content worth reading.
Search engines now search for content that is relevant. If you are consistent within a niche, you could likely carve out a place for yourself on the internet by writing consistently targeted material to serve a niche market of people searching for what you have to share.
As a freelance content writer, it is time to start fine tuning your niche. Write about that particular niche on a consistent basis and your content site could have the opportunity to show up, regularly, at the top of the search engine list.
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