You don’t have to be a search engine optimization specialist to know that there have been some big changes in how Google ranks sites over the past few years.
Nearly anyone who has a website has heard of the Panda and Penguin updates Google made in the past few years.
In the early days of search engine optimization, the “experts” would dump keywords heavily into content, often delivering something that might attract a higher ranking but certainly would not engage the reader. Another tactic was to build links with other sites that may have been low-quality links from directories and other spamming sites that few people ever really clicked on.
The changes that Google has made to their algorithms has actually resulted in better quality. These old tactics no longer work, thank goodness, and the trend has been toward content marketing. Providing people with content that is relevant and valuable to them has also proven to work well to assist with rankings.
But there are still some ways that you can inadvertently end up with penalties from Google while engaging in content marketing.
Avoid the following and your site is likely to stay safe.
1. Duplicated content: Google claims that it does not penalize for duplicate content, however this claim should be approached with a measure of caution. Strictly speaking, you can duplicate your content on other sites and social media platforms. But do this in a safe, deliberate fashion. When taking an article and replicating it on another site, wait a few days between postings. Google understands that different audiences will find your content in different places, but to throw it out there in a spam like fashion could cause penalties. Many newsletter and other content creation services encourage inclusion of curated content-that is, content gathered and attributed to other sites and other authors. Although this can be very useful and very valuable, use caution in this area as well.
2. Lack of unique content: Another area where you can run into difficulty is by providing a lack of content that is unique. Duplicating other content in a copy and paste fashion is like playing Russian roulette and it is likely only a matter of time until your site is penalized. If you are an affiliate marketer, do your best to avoid the simple copy and paste method as well, as this will be seen as not providing value and may end up causing Google to penalize your site.
3. Over-optimizing or low quality internal content: What of the things that Google algorithms search for is the quality of your content within your website. Make sure you are providing unique, new content to your website on a regular basis and avoid rampant repetition of your content throughout your site. This not only will help you avoid incurring penalties, but also will significantly boost your organic rankings. Use different types of content as well, like podcasts, video as well as written blog posts. Google will notice and you should be rewarded.
4. Keep current: I have often heard people say that they have finished their website. Now, I know what they mean by this, but keep in mind that your website is never finished. It should be seen as a living, breathing entity that requires some attention. Ensure that your website is kept current, removing content that is no longer valid, updating content, and making sure that all your links are working properly. If you don’t have current information on your site, not only will visitors not want to return but Google will also lose interest in your site.
Until next time…
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