Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WEB & TECH / JAN. 27, 2015
version 3, draft 3

Tips for Knowing Google Updates Have Affected Your Website

Developing content for the web involves much more than creating unique and informative content that readers will enjoy and remember. It means developing content that will ’play nice’ with web search engines, such as Google or Bing. These companies are constantly battling each other to present the most accurate and timely results possible. Over time, this has created a situation where a website can rank highly with one service, but fail miserably with another, and for ratings to fluctuate with time as companies tweak the algorithms that make up the results.

Google is by far the largest search engine tool in use in the western world, making it the most popular service for SEO developers to gear their content to. In order to maintain this edge, the search engine giant is forced to constantly discover new ways to bring forth only the freshest content available. Here is why this has the SEO community on edge, and what to do to see if changes have impacted your site:

Google Panda

Panda refers to Google’s attempt to place the most timely and useful information at the top of its web searches. When the endeavor was first launched in 2011, it caught many web content generators off guard. The old maxims about focusing solely on keyword percentages were thrown out the window, and a new concept, unique content, was thrown in.

This gave rise to the idea that every site had to be informative, and not a verbatim copy of other sites. In the long run, content comparison services like Copyscape came into being.

Google Analytics

This service can be used to quickly determine how people discover the site, whether they clicked on a link from a social media post or used a web search engine to discover the site. Ideally, analysis should be done weekly. If there is a sudden drop-off in search engine originated visits, then it may be an indication that the site has started ranking lower in search engine results. Verify that the content is unique and informative. If the primary pages serve to convince the reader to do something – say, download a program – then it is vital that there be unique, in-depth, and informative content before the link.

Google AdWords

Most website managers use this service to drum up visitors. Before each keyword on the advertisement campaign is a simple number. The lower it is, the greater the likelihood that the ad will appear. Click on it, and the service will tell you how the site ranks in search results. If this number suddenly increases, verify that the content is unique and informative. It may be time to create more information and post some new articles.

Proper Editing

Another major goal of Google Panda has been to weed out poorly written sites and articles. If the site ranks poorly, have an editor take a look at the content. The reason is often that at least one or two articles have some language issues that needed to be ironed out before they are posted. Revise the problem spots, and see if that improves your ranking in a couple of days. Remember – these rankings count as free advertising, so an editor will pay for himself thanks to the better content.

Google Penguin

Penguin targets scam links. Scam links refer to any link that takes a reader to advertisements, malware, or poorly written content. These links, while lucrative for cash-strapped website managers, should never be included in a website. Verify that all submitted articles are free of such problems, and see if that helps improve your ranking.

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