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How to update your SEO for Google Panda/Penguin

10/01/2012 | Internet hosting |

For any individual or business managing a website, one of the top priorities will obviously be to ensure as many people as possible can find and visit the site. This means engaging in search engine optimisation (SEO) so your website ranks as highly as possible in sites such as Google. However, obtaining a high ranking is not as easy as it used to be and will require some time and effort.

In the past, there were many methods used by websites in order to boost their visibility in Google, not all of which necessarily resulted in good experiences for users. So-called 'black hat' SEO techniques, such as keyword stuffing, hidden redirects and deliberately duplicated content, might result in a site being picked up by a search engine's algorithms, but would not present an appealing result for a human visiting the domain. Therefore, search engines such as Google have invested heavily in improving their algorithms to filter this content out, which has resulted two major and ongoing updates. These are known as Panda - which focuses on low-quality content - and Penguin, which tackles web spam.

If you haven't updated your SEO techniques in a while, you may have noticed your traffic slipping over the past few months, which may be a result of your site getting caught up in these changes and being demoted in search results. This can have a serious impact on businesses that rely on referrals from search engines, so if your site is being flagged up as low-quality by Panda and Penguin, you need to act. For starters, you should check to see if your site is 'over-optimised'. This may mean removing large quantities of keywords and low-quality links that don't offer any value to visitors. If you can generate a smaller number of natural, high-quality links, this will benefit your search engine ranking more than more numerous but less useful links.

Poor-quality content should also be removed. If you have several pages of identical or near-identical text, this will be harming your ranking. Instead, you need to focus on quality, engaging and unique content that is frequently updated, giving users a reason to come back to the site. This is something that will therefore be reflected in the priority Google and other search engines give to your domain in their results.

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