Is SEO Dead? What is your strategy after Google’s Panda Algorithm and Penguin updates? Many question had been asked by webmaster whom feel the effect of the recent updates impact on their site traffic or SERP. Personally I’ve been researching and visiting some well known SEO Webmaster Forums and the answers are vain, “some say do that, some other say don’t do that”. Search Engine Optimize method are varies from small business to large scale business to a small website such as myself. Here i would like to share some thought and strategy on my new SEO Strategy after penguin and panda updates.
1. No More ‘FREE’ keyword in title tag and anchor text
Seems like some sites were ‘tanked’ for the ‘Free’ keyword in their title tag and anchor text. Some SEO observer i’ve consulted said that Google new algorithm may or may not consider ‘Free’ keyword in title tag as spammy. They told me it is fine to have ‘Free’ keyword in meta descriptions and post content but try to prevent or lesser use of ‘Free’ keyword in title tag and anchor text.
In my opinion, most of the effected site were using ‘Free WordPress Themes’ in their anchor text for the release of free themes. Fortunately most of my Free WordPress Themes were using ‘dezzain’ or ‘dezzain studio’ in most part and hopefully not considered as spammy links in other part 🙂
2. Try using ‘Keyword’ that people searched
No matter how unique and fascinating your posts are, it is destined to invisible if your title tag keyword are not ranked within 300 place in SERP. Using Google Adword Keyword tools, try search for your desired keyword. For example, i use ‘seo’ keyword in search, afterward the tools will list all the available keyword most people search within month. The keyword competitor were ranked in low, medium and high. Advise from my SEO Advisor, if your PageRank are lower than 5, try go for low and medium competition. If higher than 5, go for the ‘high’ competition keyword.
I asked them WHY? Do Pagerank have any effect on SERP?
They said Higher Pagerank means Higher domain and page authority. It is likely to be favored by Google when index update for the search result page ranking. Dezzain.com had pagerank of 5 and domain/page authority around 60. I think i might go for ‘medium’ competition for now. For me to rank well in keyword like ‘WordPress Tutorials’, ‘WordPress News’, ‘WordPress Themes’ etc, i need tons of link juice from more authority site so that’s less of my concern now 😉
3. Build Authenticity and Trust through Social Recognition
I was advised to build up trust and Authenticity through social recognition such as Facebook fans, Twitter follower and Google+ circles. Personally i would prefer an organic build up rather than buying 1000+ likes and follower through services. Feeling skeptic on using Facebook own ads service – $5 for 30-70 likes but might try them in future. The Huffington Post covered an article on How Google’s Panda and Penguin Replaced SEO With Social, PR and Content which i find very useful to read.
4. The Tail of Long Keyword
What is long tail keyword? Long tail keywords are a type of keyword phrase that has at least three, and some times as many as five words in the phrase. Seem like keyword research had evolve, rather than using a one phrase keyword like ‘shoes’, people tend to search a longer tail keyword such as ‘bright shiny shoes’ or ‘shoes that fly’. For an in-depth strategy of long tail keyword in seo. Read this.
5. Only Allowed ‘index’ of significant article or page
Duplicate or useless content would definitely hurt your SEO. Over the years, Google had been indexing my WordPress site theme testrun, tag, category and attachment pages which did not have any SEO Value according to my SEO Advisors so i decided to remove ‘indexing’ of my theme testrun site, category, tag and attachment page. Further advise is adding a list of popular or most visited articles in sidebars for google to crawl the contents.
But i would like to have a section to be index?
I wanted to have a WordPress page to query all the related category like WordPress Tutorials, HTML5 and CSS Tutorials into one page with its own Title tag and Descriptions rather than use /category/wordpress-tutorials which i will not indexed.
So i decided to create a page templates for the section page. For example you could see the Themes, News, Resources and Tutorials & Tips in navigation above. Here’s an example code i used in my page template sections.
First create a blank php and name it page-template-section.php and add below code into the blank php.
<?php /* Template Name: Sections */ ?> <?php get_header(); ?> <?php global $more; $more = 0; $section_id = get_post_meta($post->ID, 'section_id', true); //custom field for category id $max_num_post = get_option('posts_per_page'); $page = (get_query_var('paged')) ? get_query_var('paged') : 1; query_posts("cat=".$section_id."&showposts=$max_num_post&paged=$page"); if (have_posts()) : while ( have_posts() ) : the_post(); ?> /* your post loop here */ <?php endwhile; ?> <?php else: ?> <?php endif; ?> <?php get_sidebar(); ?> <?php get_footer(); ?>
Now when write a new ‘page’, select page template ‘sections’ for the page and add custom field ‘section_id’ with your group category id like 4,65,78 etc. In my case i grouped all tutorials related into ‘Tutorials and Tips’ section page. With All-in-one-SEO WordPress plugin, I’ll be able to add its own Title tag, meta descriptions and Meta Keyword for the section page. The result from index will be like this, cleaner and no ‘category’ slug
6. Check for 404 pages that hits a lot
When you moved or change your permalink, previous links will already be index so when people click on your old links, they will be redirect to 404 page. This might seem UN-significant to some but it is better to redirect the 404 error link to a more appropriate links. In my case, i recently remove ‘WordPress’ as parent category and all WordPress category were divided into 3 sections such as WordPress Themes, WordPress News and WordPress Tutorials without parent category. You can redirect any 404 page by using .htaccess like thisRedirect 301 /path/ full-path-url
Redirect 301 /themes/free-themes http://www.dezzain.com/themes/
7. Clean and Well Structure Site for Google Bot
Ensure that you have a simple site structure that is accessible by Googlebot and other such crawling robots. There should also be adequate internal linking between your pages for easy navigation of relevant information. You would also want to ensure that your site has clear URL structures without unnecessary parameters leading to distinct content pages.
This will help crawlers to spend more time in crawling content rather than tracing and retracing their steps. Adding links structure schema markup with Google Plus Authenticity will definitely help accomplished this in some way.
8. Avoid posting less than 100 words
In Google world, there is no place for thin content. These are content that are short and have very little informational value. Many of the articles written pre-Panda and pre-Penguin seem to be obviously written just for SEO purposes because they were usually around 100 words only. In post-Panda and post-Penguin time, content such as research, analysis, in-depth reports, and the like, earn good rankings. If you are going to write an article less than 100 words, make sure there’s a link point to not more than 3 of other related resources included.
Google changes how their search engines works everyday so don’t sweat. In my experience maintaining a solid and permanent position in Google’s SERP is highly impossible unless your site is a god-like authority site such as about.com or wikipedia.org. Finally its safe to say if we followed these step, we all may survive the next panda and penguin updates which I’m pretty sure will be happening soon. Errrr…why matt cutts? 🙂