It seems like only yesterday we were talking about the Google Penguin 2.0 update and how to rank your websites after it hit the streets. Now enter Hummingbird and Penguin 2.1!
Luckily, it didn’t take long to crack the code. Here is some insight on the latest Google updates and how you can rank your sites today and even recover websites that were hit by previous penalties.
What Is Google Hummingbird?
Hummingbird was an update (algorithm change) released on Google’s 15th anniversary that was designed to make the search engines more ‘human.’
There is a lot of technical pieces moving behind the scenes with this change, but to put it simply…Google made it’s engine smarter. In essence, the search engine moved forward in actually understanding what words actually mean.
Ironically, popular spinning software Spin Rewriter upgraded to its 4.0 version which features deeper understanding of what words mean allowing users to spin content to levels not seen before (and in line with the latest Google updates).
This is good for users, but made things a little confusing for SEOs and internet marketers who seen their affiliate sites fluctuate in the rankings.
What Did Penguin 2.1 Do?
No more than a week after the Hummingbird release, we seen the latest Penguin update hit the internet. For some it was an unwelcomed arrival!
While it took a bit of analyzing, it appears this Penguin looks about the same as the last. It focused pretty much on linking spam and keyword over-optimization. It also dug a little deeper into websites than previous updates which focused more on the home page of a website or first-level pages.
Although it was said (by Google) to have impacted only around 1% of searches, it seemed a lot of affiliate marketers and SEOs were hit.
What Is Not Working In SEO Right Now
Given the latest changes, it is no wonder people are scrambling to find out what is working for ranking and getting traffic to their websites.
Before I get into that, I want to talk about a few things that are not working so you don’t fall run into any penalties along the way.
Mass Link Building
This has never really ever been in, but what I’m talking about goes beyond the massive spam blasts you can get on a site like Fiverr. I’m also talking about perennial favorite linking programs like UAW and Magic Submitter.
While software and programs like these can still be included in your link building strategy, you have to be very cautious if you plan on using tools like these.
The focus is on quality, not quantity when it comes to backlinks.
Exact Match Keyword Over Optimization
While still a valid method for ranking videos, this is no longer acceptable by any means for your money websites. It actually hasn’t been for a while, but it has gone deeper than just keyword density and anchor text.
Domain names and page URLs should also be paid closer attention, as over optimization among URLs in combination with on-page anchor text can completely wipe your website off the map if not done correctly. This goes beyond the home page and first tier pages.
For long term rankings, it may be wise to use Brand Name domains as opposed to Exact Match Domains that have always been popular among SEOs and IMs alike.
How To Rank Your Website Today or Recover From A Penalty
Today it is more important to build a website with a solid foundation, built on a process that can help it withstand any update and continue to put your content in front of your visitors, as simple mistakes can be costly in today’s search engine environment.
While methods I talked about in my Penguin 2.0 post are still viable, there is a different strategy you can use that has been shown to work effectively since the latest updates and is being used to recover sites that have dropped into search engine abyss.
In fact, the strategy is simply a slight modification of what has been working for years.
The strategy focuses on 2 key components.
To build a website that ranks today, and can survive any updates of the future, you need to construct your website using a precise strategy that capitalizes on creating a symbiotic (yes I went science on you) relationship between all your pages and posts.
This is not the silo structure I mentioned when reviewing SEO Zen, but it is similar.
Using a specific method of interlinking with an exact keyword anchor structure, you can create your own internal ‘link-juice’ that funnels search engine ranking power through your site without the need for external backlinks (yes you read that correctly).
Thankfully it usually doesn’t take long to crack an update, and this time it looks like we should all be safe from future Google anarchy…