Microsoft's Duane Forrester offers tips to search engine marketers for avoiding getting hit hard by Google's Penguin and Panda updates. While he fails to mention Bing's rival by name, the post -- titled "Penguins & Pandas Poetry" -- clearly serves up advice on how to manage continually changing algorithms that influence a company's Web site structure and query rankings.
Forrester suggests that search engine optimization (SEO) experts need to learn how to anticipate and forecast change in query ranking algorithms, as well as develop strategies to diversify traffic sources. Think of it as a stock portfolio. An investor certainly would put all her eggs in one Facebook basket, considering that by noon Eastern Time the stock sunk nearly 12% from the $36.53 opening price on day two of trading. He calls it "future proofing." In other words, don't rely on one engine to bring in all the Web site traffic. Diversifying means more than search. Marketers need to consider traffic from social sources, too.
Some of the preventive work means knowing how to segment an audience, understand motives, and build authority. "Building authority is not a passive task that catches up with you," but rather an active process leading to results, Forrester writes. Answer questions, and create and share quality text and video files.
Aside from integrating social sharing features, Forrester suggests monitoring robots.txt file, cleaning site maps, and eliminating duplicate content, as well as links to two articles about letting go of Google to support his point.
Reliable-SEO Co-founder Dave Harry agrees that SEOs need to forecast -- or what he calls "future-proof" -- to identify changes in both Panda (content) and Penguin (links) before they occur. "We know that for Panda user experience is important, so we avoid 'thin content,' but also elements such as ad placements and content above the fold," Harry said. "With Penguin it is more about tactics that can make a site appear as if it manipulates the search query rankings, from hidden text to shoddy link building."
Watching the optics and words SEO professionals use in copy when they write about change. If it's the "tactic du-jour, it is a safe bet the efficacy will diminish, not increase," he said.
Another piece of advice that Terry Van Horne, Reliable-SEO co-founder, suggests doing "less low-level link-building and become very aware that exact-match anchor text is seemingly under close scrutiny. Be careful to whom you link and who links back, and keep track of both external incoming links and internal links."
There's no lack of help and support when it comes to Google's Penguin and Panda updates. While Local SEO Guide Founder Andrew Shotland tell us how Google Penguin got its name, The Buyer Group Founder Lisa Buyer gives up 17 ways for small and medium-size businesses to survive Penguin. And when it comes to sorting it all out, Glenn Gabe gives advice on how to determine the Google algorithm update impacting a company's Web site.