Google rolled an update to their search ranking algorithm called Penguin 2.0 a few days ago, and we’ve been monitoring the changes to our client’s rankings.
It appears that content has been the biggest influencer of who’s moved, who hasn’t moved, and how much they’ve moved in the rankings. If you’ve kept up with the different Panda and Penguin updates over the past few years, it may seem strange for Google to consider content quality in a Penguin update; Penguin updates have mostly been about webspam and black-hat SEO. But it’s actually not that odd, since one of the contributing factors to Penguin demotions has been low-quality article marketing and blog spam.
So what have we seen so far in the post-Penguin shake-out? Sites that are updating their blogs regularly, are keeping the site content updated and fresh, and are adding relevant content to the site, are seeing the greatest benefit from this new update. The sites that are stagnant, with the same content all the time, no blog posts, nothing fresh, they’re the sites being hit the hardest.
Among our clients, those that are taking advantage of regular blogs, and we mean relevant blogs with good quality content not just blogs for blogs sake, who are linking out to other resources or linking back to previous blog posts to help the visitor find relevant information, they’re the sites that have seen the biggest jump in rankings.
For ecommerce websites, new products appear to have been a huge influence, along with good quality product descriptions on all product pages. Another influencer, one which we haven’t seen before, seems to be useful content on category pages, content that actually helps the visitor once they get to that page, and not just a list of products in the category.
Going forward, well, we’re going to keep repeating the same advice we’ve being giving to our clients for years: use your blog, update it regularly, and think about things like what your client wants to read about and what questions people ask regularly. Write your blogs to help your visitors when they come to your website, because at the end of the day if you’re giving out good quality information, not only is Google going to pick it up but so are your visitors.
This has always been the way to use your blog to convert visitors into customers: have your visitor in mind as a potential client when you’re writing a blog, tell them what they want to know, demonstrate how you can help them, and make it a good experience for them.