penguinSo last week I warned about the impending update to the Panda algorithm. Search Engine Land believe that this update may have taken place on Friday afternoon, however Google are currently refusing to confirm or deny this claim. During last weeks revelation, we were informed that many will not notice when future alterations to the Panda algorithm are made, as Google are aiming to make updates more integrated and therefore less noticeable in future. It is therefore very possible this update has occurred and as of yet, the long-term effects of this remain relatively unknown.

I’m sure we’ll find out more about Panda this week, however today I wanted to discuss the main, and probably most unsettling revelation from last weeks SMX conference, and this was the one regarding Google Penguin. Matt Cutts has warned that at some point this year we can expect an update to the Penguin algorithm, and from what he’s suggesting, it’s expected to be the most talked about update by Google this year. In the words of Search Engine Land we should “expect a major Penguin release that may send ripples through the SEO industry“.

The Penguin algorithm was initially released in April 2012 and I’m sure most remember it well; the day that website owners around the world watched their traffic levels plummet as the SEO world realised that link-building would never be the same again. A poll by Search Engine roundtable suggests that 94% of those affected by Google Penguin did not recover, so it’s easy to see why some may be nervous about the impending update.

The Penguin algorithm is designed to reduce webspam and catch out websites that are considered to be spamming Google’s search results pages. Those buying or acquiring links through links networks that have been primarily designed to boost Google rankings are those who appeared to be most severely affected, however the update also affected those who were seen to be keyword stuffing, using article spinning techniques and those using doorway pages.

So, what can you do to ensure you’re not hit by the next Penguin release?

Well, during last weeks conference, Matt Cutts stated: “We have a potential launch later this year, maybe a little bit sooner, looking at the quality of merchants and whether we can do a better job on that, because we don’t want low quality experience merchants to be ranking in the search results

For a long time now us lot here at Silverbean have, at every given opportunity, preached the importance of high-quality, relevant content. If you’re not producing it, you need to be. For some time Google has been clamping down on websites that have poor content, and in turn preference has been given to web owners that provide quality information that is useful to readers. If you’re creating content with the sole intention of improving your rankings, you’re doing it wrong. Simple as that.

Inbound Marketing is the practise of creating content with your dream customer in mind; what are they likely to be looking for? What questions do they need answering? How can your product/service benefit them? Content shouldn’t be created with the sole purpose of driving traffic, it should be created to provide your target audience with a solution to their problem, to answer their questions and to allow them to understand, through their own research, why they should select you over one of your competitors. Taking this approach will not only ensure that you’re attracting the kind of consumers that you want to attract, but should help to ensure that Google value you highly also.

Make content and user experience your priority, and you’re on to a winner.