Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has been changing since Google started introducing major algorithm updates in 2012.
You’ve probably heard of Panda, Penguin and even Hummingbird. These were all introduced to prevent SEO practitioners manipulate Google’s search results.
It’s never been good to have poor page content. You know the sort of thing I mean, pages with very little information on them. Or, worse still for SEO, text copied directly from other websites.
Google has always stated that it gives priority to high quality content. That’s even more important now than ever. But what does that mean you need to do?
- Write your own information rich page text
- Compose over 250 words – especially on your blog
- Make every page different
- Go the extra mile (or kilometre if you prefer) to include useful info: reviews, quotations, tell stories, data, history – anything you can think of that your competitors don’t do.
- Analyse your text for readability: 60 to 65 on the Flesch-Kincaid scale
- Include other media such as images, video, diagrams, audio
- Copy and paste from other websites.
- Use automated text generators (content written by computers to optimise a certain term or phrase).
- Overuse the keyword or phrase you want your page to rank for (known as keyword stuffing).
- Rely on rich media sourced from YouTube and other ‘widget’ providers.
Learn more about Google’s guidance to about the thin content trap.
Long Page Titles
The magic number was always 65 characters for your page titles. Not any more!
Google has changed this one so that it’s not the number of characters now but pixel width. 482 pixels to be exact.
Why is this something you need to be aware of? The answer is obvious once you see it. Have a look at this screenshot from Google:
To emphasise the point: if Google can’t display the full title then searchers won’t know what the page is so won’t click on it.
Systems vary so you should look out for page title, meta title, title tag or something similar.
Try this tool to help: Title Pixel Meter
Exact Match Domain Names
It seems like a dream. Get the exact domain name and you were ranked number 1.
Google has stated that it has deprioritised exact match URLs. However, it may still help it understand what your content is about. But don’t stress if SEO was the main reason for wanting an unavailable domain.
Unnatural Link Building
Anyone carrying out SEO will tell you links to your site are important. In fact, they seemed to be the main ranking factor for years.
As a result quick fix SEO practitioners abused the system, despite Google’s warnings, until ‘Penguin‘ changed it all. Sites that had paid for links, or links from low quality link pages were hit badly.
Why did Google do this? They kept telling everyone that they don’t like being manipulated. Gaining ranking from randomly linked sites did just that.
Penguin also promoted sites that had ‘backlinks’ from high authority sites due to the quality of the content.
So how does Google determine the quality of links?
Unnatural SEO links are:
- High link:domain ratio – thousands from one website
- Too many exact match anchor text link – such as “jewellers in Chester”
- Links from sites where you can pay to add content and links
Use Google’s Webmaster Tools or free services such as ahrefs.com to find who links to your site and how.
Solving these problems can be time consuming and difficult. If you need advice or guidance we’ll be happy to help you.