Since the release of the 2012 Google Penguin update, many site owners who enjoyed years on the top of the heap found themselves at the bottom of the searches with not as much as an explanation why. The adjustments in Google’s algorithm caused a domino effect, marketers across the world lost a lot of money and “dated” SEO marketing was considered by experts as “obsolete”.
Essentially, Google got smarter, detecting spamming on the net and then prioritizing sites that offer better content and apply white hat marketing. So many are wondering, with all these changes, is SEO really dead? And more importantly, do marketers still need to focus on optimizing their websites even if Google clearly favors content-based sites?
Even though most webmasters out there have given up on SEO, you can still turn things around and use the change in algorithm to your advantage.
Things to Know about On-page SEO
Here’s the thing, the new algorithm targeted websites that were unnecessarily optimized for on-page SEO. Most online marketers feared that every step they made to optimize their websites will no longer work. And because of the Penguin update, excessive optimization will hurt your website’s ranking as penalty.
The truth is, SEO is still very valuable for online businesses. Google was not aiming to end on-page optimization. They just wanted to eliminate the abuse of SEO by encouraging the emphasis on quality and content. Websites that were more focused on on-page optimization no longer had better ranking than those who had relevant information.
So what can you do to make you on-page SEO work out despite the Google Penguin update?
Focus more on the content of your website rather than how optimized it can be. Make sure you provide your audience with relevant and valuable information. Once this is accomplished, you can then put more effort into making your website more optimized.
The good news is, you can still cope with the changes and incorporate SEO in your marketing campaign. Below are practical SEO tricks that can help supercharge your website:
- Invest in exceptional content, hire a professional writer if you have to
- Shoot for 400 word posts, 400 is the sweet spot for most online articles
- Never overstuff your articles with keywords
- Never practice Black Hat marketing
- Integrate your keywords on alt tags for images
- Make each post interesting by adding images, embedding videos, etc.
- Always practice internal linking
- Use Meta Description and integrate your main keywords
- Link Building: Is it Still Reliable?
Although Google is now smarter than ever, prioritizing sites with excellent content as opposed to sites with strong online presence through link building, don’t be too quick to remove link building as part of your marketing campaign because this method can still help your business increase traffic online. Sure, article directory marketing, social bookmarking sites and blog networks are not as effective as they are now, but they make great base for your other marketing efforts. All you need to do is to think of creative ways to market your business.
Although naysayers say the days of old school SEO is numbered, it is not obsolete. Success in marketing online starts by creating relevant content. Once you create relevant content, it will start attracting links organically. SEO is not dead and anyone who says otherwise is just swept away by negative train of thought. Remember, online success is all about looking at the bigger picture.