Recent SEO news has been heavily focused on off-site content, such as the seemingly unending war that’s currently going on between people who think we still need to focus a lot of energy into linkbuilding efforts, their opponents who think it’s time to lay it to rest, and those who are steadfast proponents of the notion that it’s a profoundly mediocre SEO tactic. The recent (but, arguably, pretty mild) Penguin 2.0 update can probably do all the explaining as to why SEO enthusiasts are discussing social media, guest blogging, and, well, everything BUT on-site content in their recent contributions to the community, but we can’t let the importance of having well-optimized on-site content slip through the cracks.

Google Penguin UpdateSince Penguin 2.0 did introduce some important changes, that should probably be rule number one: Don’t neglect your on-site content! You should be refreshing this stuff relatively frequently, especially, of course, if any of the information changes. There’s speculation that frequently-updated sites are better kept on Google’s radar, so that never hurts.

More specifically, stay on top of your keyword usage. Something I’ve seen all too often is webmasters who think they need to use their keywords in their exact forms as the anchor text for their links, and this is actually pretty punishable behavior. If your keyword is “lawn care New Jersey,” do yourself a favor and include a few stop-words to make that keyword sound more natural. Doesn’t “lawn care here in New Jersey” just sound easier to fit in a sentence?

In addition to that, make sure you’re varying your anchor text. Don’t target the same exact keywords over and over again on the same page – Google now sees this as spammy. A good way to switch up similar keywords is by branding them (Sprinkler King’s New Jersey lawn care).

During your content refresh, always do some thorough proofreading. You can never have enough proofreading. It might sound like common sense, but in my few years’ experience in SEO writing, I’ve seen a shameful number of pages that have spelling, grammar, and syntax errors…right on the company page. Not only will that make a visitor question your company’s authenticity, it’ll be a red flag to Google, too, since spam content is usually similarly low-quality. This is why the person writing your on-site content should never be just a writer or just an SEO expert – it should be someone who is well-trained in both, or two experts working side-by-side.

A lot of webmasters also have a hard time resisting the urge to ignore their e-commerce pages. It makes little sense – product descriptions are easy to optimize, but if they go neglected, they can easily account for duplicate content. Take advantage of your ability to optimize your e-commerce; it’s like free SEO real-estate on your website!

And, finally, don’t get too link or strong-tag happy. When a site visitor is just trying to get some basic info, it’s distracting when every other word is bolded or linked. Let the keywords come naturally and don’t put a crazy emphasis on them for a better experience.

So, your homework for today is to go home and refresh your content to make it Penguin 2.0-friendly!

Pictured from left to right: Chris Countey, Director of SEO Strategy, Todd Bailey, Vice President of Marketing and Digital Strategy, and Michael Stricker, SEO and Social Media Strategist

MOUNT LAUREL, NJ — (May 24, 2012) – Kenneth Wisnefski, founder and CEO of WebiMax, a leading search engine optimization firm, announced today that the company will host a webinar discussing Google, Inc.’s recent Penguin algorithm update and the future of internet marketing on June 5th at 2:00pm EST.  The Penguin was released in late April and is a major update to the search engine’s algorithm and has impacted the entire search community.

“I am pleased to announce that this webinar will be hosted by WebiMax’s own Todd Bailey, Vice President of Marketing and Digital Strategy, Michael Stricker, SEO and Social Media Strategist, and Chris Countey, Director of SEO Strategy,” states Wisnefski.  “Our experts will discuss relevancy, SEO signals (including links, social & relevancy), the impact of the Penguin update and how to recover, Google’s Knowledge Graph, and more.”

Google states the Penguin update is another necessary step toward eliminating spammy websites from their search engine, and further declared there are over 50 updates each month, causing webmasters to scramble to stay informed.

WebiMax employs some of the most talented webmasters in the search community and feels it is necessary to host this type of webinar,” exclaims Todd Bailey.  “We have the resources in personnel and experience to be able to discuss best practices including how to adjust your website to the Penguin update and further discuss the future of internet marketing.”

The Penguin update webinar is open to the public but has a limited amount of seats.  It will take place on June 5th at approximately 2:00pm EST.  All interested may register here.

About WebiMax:
Led by serial web entrepreneur Ken Wisnefski, WebiMax has established themselves as a global leader in SEO services, E-commerce solutions, social media, web design, pay-per-click management and reputation management.  The company was voted one of America’s Most Promising Companies (2011) by Forbes Magazine and recently awarded one of Philadelphia’s Fastest Growing Companies (2012 and 2011) by the Philadelphia Business Journal.  WebiMax employs over 150 personnel in 12 offices including 8 U.S. based, and 4 International. Visit http://www.webimax.com/ for more information.

Penguin GroupTomorrow marks one month since the debut of Google’s Penguin, and everyone is still trying to make sense of the update. While a couple websites have come into existence as a response to Google’s most recent revisions to its algorithm, little has been made in the way of progress when it comes to actually puzzling out how Penguin works. Although it is highly unlikely that the company will ever reveal the mechanisms behind the update, the SEO community has at least come up with a few useful tips for creating content that Google’s search engine wants.

Don’t Repeat Content
Regardless of whether a website is reposting text from elsewhere or pulling materials directly from other online properties, businesses should take care to never duplicate or steal content. Aside from the obvious moral implications inherent in this sort of black hat SEO activity, content reposting is one of the many optimization behaviors that Penguin explicitly punishes. Every day, Google crawls millions of websites and then compares what it finds against existing pages. Should content be discovered as having been taken from elsewhere, then that page’s rankings and SEPR rankings are dropped as a result.

In order to avoid this issue, webmasters and business owners need to remain consistent in their efforts to create unique content for their pages. Since Google’s intended goal is to create a network through which users can find useful or interesting sites quickly and effortlessly, 100% original work is far more likely to show up in the company’s SERPs than copy-pasted material. As such, every website owner should create their pages from scratch or from personal templates when generating content.

Only Write when It’s worthwhile to the Reader
Mismanaged SEO campaigns often end up creating mountains of blogs, social media posts and webpages that lack any true substance. In an ongoing mission to secure popular keywords and gain additional indexing opportunities, many people blunder in their SEO efforts and simply generate new content that holds some SEO value but offers nothing of worth to potential readers or site visitors. Although this sort of content may initially get picked up by site crawlers and show up on search results, a lack of user engagement means that it will only end up falling down the SERPs rather quickly.

In order to create webpages and blogs that retain decent rankings and respectable traffic, businesses need to provide users with content that is worth interacting with or sharing with others. Well-written and informative pages tend to be the same ones that appear to users in their initial search results most often. While it may be tempting for a company to arbitrarily create new pages and blogs for link-building purposes, business owners should make certain that any new content made for them is interesting and engaging.

For additional information about creating quality content post-Penguin, I can be contacted at jwersits@webimax.com.

Standing PenguinEveryone who writes about SEO has recognized Google’s Penguin update as the hot button issue at the moment. After a staggering 350,000 sites were affected by the company’s recent algorithm revisions, the SEO community fell into a bit of disarray over the topic. Across the board, reaction to the update has been mostly negative as only a few actually notable spam and aggregator websites were impacted by Penguin while thousands of respectable businesses were hit as well. It’s a subject that is generating a lot of buzz and has led to sites devoted to the subject and commentary from our own Jill Johnson.
 

Due to all the talk about the damage dealt by Google’s Penguin update, many small business owners have plenty of questions over whether their own websites could be affected. Since SEO development can be a complicated and often overwhelming subject, there’s a lot of uncertainty felt by site managers regarding what they should be on the lookout for. Although the mechanics behind Penguin are still very much unknown to the SEO community, Google has made it clear that there certain page elements that webmasters will want to avoid.

Keyword Stuffing
A SEO tactic almost as old as the internet itself, many disreputable online marketing agencies try to game Google’s site crawlers by placing as many possible keywords onto a page as possible. Better known as “keyword stuffing,” this technique is one that has been falling gradually into disuse as algorithms continue to be improved. Still, there are those web designers and black hat SEOs that insist on piling as many search terms onto a page as possible in hopes of more varied SERP showings.

According to Google, sites with excessive search terms are among those directly targeted by its Penguin update. As such, it’s important that one keeps his or her website clear of unnecessary keyword implementation. If a term is haphazardly thrown into a page’s content with little to no purpose, then they should be removed ASAP. The longer those keywords stay on a website, the higher the chance that Google will punish the site by either dropping its SERP placement or de-listing it entirely.

Irrelevant Text
Despite how smartly designed most modern search algorithms are, some webmasters still try to exploit nonsensical text to add more weight to a page. The principle design mentality behind this black hat SEO tactic is that it’s the links that matter most and the other content is pointless. This sort of unethical optimization method is more common on article publishing directories and various spam sites rather than official websites.

Yet, regardless of how absurd these pages often look to readers, some web designers still try to add extra pages onto their sites devoted exclusively to pointless writing with preferred links. As the secondary focus of the Penguin update, irrelevant text is going to earn these types of sites a huge penalization from Google. As such, it’s important that webmasters take the time to reduce their sites’ content to relevant and purposeful content.

As new information about Penguin becomes available, we at WebiMax will relate these details to our blog readers. Should anyone happen to have any question at the present, I can be contacted at jwersits@webimax.com.

MOUNT LAUREL, NJ– (MAY 7, 2012)– Kenneth Wisnefski, founder and CEO of WebiMax, a leading search engine optimization firm, announced today that the company launched PenguinWatch.com, a Google search engine update resource center.

Google launched a major update to their search engine algorithm, titled the Penguin update on April 24th.  The Penguin update targets websites and businesses that Google has identified as over-optimized and penalizes them for trying to trick their search algorithm and increase rankings.  This update is predicted to impact 3% of all search queries.

“While 3% may not sound like a lot, the reality is that represents over 365,000 websites including those of small- to medium-sized businesses and even Fortune 100 companies,” states Wisnefski.  “WebiMax launched PenguinWatch as a full-scale resource center offering free website analysis, strategic recommendations, tips, news and updates.”

Google officially announced the Penguin update is one of over 500 annual updates to their search algorithm, however the problem is the amount of sites that were wrongfully flagged.  Last year when the company released their Panda Update, over 40% of websites were wrongfully penalized.

“Google’s recent efforts to reshape its results listings have come under fire within the SEO and webmaster community,” states Todd Bailey, Vice President of Marketing and Digital Strategy for WebiMax.  “This effort has been viewed as a harsh update with underlying intent under the protection of the company’s standard mantra of clearing out web-spam and providing better results for the user.”

Last year when Google released the Panda update, major U.S. based retailer J.C. Penney was penalized for spam because their SEO firm was using black-hat optimization tactics to inflate their search rankings.  An official spokesperson from J.C. Penney revealed that they quickly fired their search marketing company and worked to remove the ill-advised paid links that were in violation of Google’s SEO guidelines.  After 90 days, the ban was lifted and J.C. Penney returned to normal rankings.

“The Penguin update is an industry game-changer,” discusses Chris Countey, Director of SEO Strategy at WebiMax.  “Link schemes, keyword stuffing and automated SEO tools have always been frowned upon by the SEO community, but now they are dangerous, too.  Companies who have not yet realized that real inbound marketing is the only sustainable way of improving traffic and conversions are likely to be impacted by Penguin. This could potentially destroy businesses that do not change how they market online and it’s apparent the effects are already being felt,” concludes Countey.

While the update is expected to impact 3% of search queries, Todd Bailey states webmasters already know who they are.

“Nearly 2 days after the Penguin update was rolled out, WebiMax received a ton of calls from prospective clients asking for help,” states Bailey.  “Given that, we decided to have our internal team of developers and senior SEO strategists create PenguinWatch to serve as a reliable platform to provide complete website analyses and deliver additional resources so webmasters can hedge against a detrimental change to their search rankings,” concludes Bailey.

 

How much time do you have today to think about online marketing strategies?  I think about it all day.  It’s my passion and career.  I’ll assume there are a lot of similar souls out there who are passionate about engaging their respective fields.  I bet it warrants a lot of attention.  My daily duties do.  Would I have time to breach the threshold of another vertical while addressing online marketing?  It’s not very likely; or, I wouldn’t be able to cover much ground that way.

I endeavor at keeping a healthy body.  I know some tidbits about anatomy, health, diet, etc; yet, there are limitations to my knowledge.  I defer to specialists when needed.  Last year, I was feeling exceptionally sluggish and didn’t know why.  I tried to modify behavior and get to the heart of the matter myself but was unsuccessful; I pinpointed the lethargy to a deficiency in iron thanks to blood tests and my doctor.  Otherwise, I would’ve been growing more desperate and confused about my health.  I sought help instead.

You see where I’m going with this (I hope.)  Online marketing specialists look after the health of your online business.  It’s our pledge just as doctors pledge to look after the health of patients.

Why Consultants?
I think you can begin to see my point above.  I’m not saying I couldn’t have been a doctor (Does that involve math?  I hope not.)  I’m not saying you can’t be a great online marketer.  But I’m not a doctor; if you’re not a marketer, I prescribe your deference to those who spend a lot of time and energy in the field.  I don’t wear a stethoscope; but, I know how to check the pulse of your online business.  I know how to check to see if your online initiatives are working well, providing healthy revenue streams.

Approaching an online consultant is not an absolute necessity; but, just as I visit the doctor, gaining insight into my health, wouldn’t you want to treat your business well too?  Isn’t your business ‘your temple’?

Taming Google
Online marketers don’t completely understand Google.  I’m not sure Google would prefer complete transparency.  However, consultants do closely work with best practices and Google updates.  Just like doctors, we can’t completely know or predict the future; but, we can use our knowledge to facilitate the health of your online business.

Google has an idea of how it would like its search engine to work.  As marketers, we spend time understanding Google and how tweaks influence and change SERs.  Unfortunately, some modifications make sites ‘sick,’ causing them to drop in rank (and subsequently lose money and exposure).  The sickness is usually self-inflicted whether Web masters knew they were ‘messing’ with potentially hazardous initiatives or not.

If your site is sick, then you need help.  You could try to revive your online property alone; yet, you may make things worse, becoming more frustrated like I was regarding my lethargy last year.

Headstrong or Web Savvy?
I can be a stubborn person.  I admit that.  I often have to be wary of when my stubbornness backs opportunities in a corner.  Are you doing such with your online business?  Have you recently been affected by Panda and Penguin updates?  Don’t spin wheels blindly searching or exhausting intuition, attempting to ‘get better.’

When I need my car fixed I go to a mechanic.  When I don’t feel well I go to a doctor.  If I want to learn skiing I search for someone who spent a lot of time on the slopes.  When you want to improve your online marketing performance you need to seek professional consultants.

No one will force me to go to the mechanic, doctor, or ski instructor.  I could attempt to address my needs alone though seriously lacking in understanding of those topics.  You could attempt to address your search engine health alone; but, do you have the time, passion, and level of understanding equal to an online marketing consultant?  Don’t allow more time to pass; your business’ ‘condition’ could get worse.  Additionally, a lack of understanding of what’s causing ‘the sickness’ is a potential time bomb.

WebiMax recently launched PenguinWatch.com – a consultancy site, dedicated to helping Web masters understand the Google Penguin update as well as gain a better hold on search engine best practices and strategy.  Please take a look at the site and don’t hesitate to seek assistance regarding a number of initiatives.  Most importantly, don’t dismiss the importance of asking questions.  Do you have questions?  We would like to help improve your understanding.  The first move is yours.