This post is written by Sarah Lamb.
The new Google Penguin update has turned the tables in a big way. Earlier when bloggers used to optimize their posts in every which way, now it seems as if more optimization is actually harmful. Clearly bloggers must assess their SEO strategy afresh if they wish to survive the latest Google onslaught.
Is it the Panda or Penguin?
Things are getting more complicated as far as Google search optimization is concerned. There are many animals in the search jungle. Panda and Penguin seem to be ruling the roost. While Panda update was more about optimization, which included onsite and backlink strategy, Penguin is about spamming. Many SEO experts are yet to differentiate between the two. Bloggers and blog owners are bitten more by the Penguin which is the latest Google update.
The Google Penguin update
The update was rolled out completely on 24 April 2012, though the tremors could felt even earlier. The Penguin update is about spamming which means it’s about onsite optimization. Many genuine, white hat SEO blogs have been affected by this update. This is due to several reasons. The most important reason is over optimization. You must understand that there is a very subtle difference between optimization and spamming. Google on its part feels that content on any blog or website should look natural. When the Google search spider finds a definite pattern where keywords are repeatedly placed strategically on a page, it classifies it as spam. This can and does happen all the time when you optimize your content. This means you are in danger of being penalized by Google. As far as Google is concerned, it’s ready to sacrifice a few good sites if it’s going to benefit the internet community at large.
Undoing what you have done
Typically, when we optimize a blog post, we include a keyword in the page Title. The main heading of the post also contains the same keyword(s). Good SEO practice suggests that the first few liens of the post must also contain the keyword(s). These keywords must be sprinkled judiciously in the post. All this was considered white hat and above board. But no more. If you have been doing this earlier you must start undoing it. Otherwise Google Penguin will penalize you. The keyword now is ‘natural’. You must unlearn all SEO best practices. Old SEO is bad SEO. New SEO means no SEO at all.
For example, earlier I would have used broadband experts in the title of the post and sprinkled the same keyword inside. But now I would be happy to use high speed internet just once inside the content.
How can Google do this?
Personally I think Google guys are going crazy. If they are try to convert the science of search into some kind of cult, I fear that we may find ourselves in a situation where everything on the net would only consist of patents and research papers. But we can hardly speak out against this new Hitler of search. For now we have to comply and change.
Bloggers no longer need SEO after the new Google Penguin update. No SEO is best SEO as of now.