SEO for the sake of SEO; Chasing the Panda

Google keep updating their search algorithms. Google will always be updating their search algorithms. Chasing the “Panda” or trying to keep up with Google’s index changes puts you on a hiding to nothing.

Website. Updating your website is the obvious first step. (Since more people are accessing websites on mobile devices than computers, if you have not upgraded to a “responsive” design, now may be the time. If your audience can’t read your website, it won’t matter how high you are on Google.) Instead of chasing the latest keywords, your web pages should contain useful content (content that explains who you are and what you do). The content should be updated often. Also, make sure your website conforms to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and check your Google Analytics, not just to see how many clicks you are getting, but to see if there are any problems with the function of your website.

Mobile. You need a mobile strategy, either adaptive or responsive. Google is sending out warnings to sites that do not have mobile options in place.

Content. Blog… Often! Each blog post is actually a web page. In other words, a blog not only adds fresh content to your website, but allows you to explore each facet of your business and publish useful information with the key words that your target audience may be searching for.

Social. Google has admitted that they have incorporated “social signals” as part of their algorithms. Believe it or not, Google knows when you post to social sites (Twitter, Facebook, et al), and even when people like or comment on those posts. They are looking for a “human response”.

Google+. Adding content, including social posts and blog posts, to Google+ seems to be a “no brainer” but it is amazing how many companies spend time and money promoting their websites and forget about posting here. This is a Google property, and they definitely pay attention to it.

The bottom line is that business owners who give their potential customers the best online experience will be the winners. Having a functional, well-designed website, refreshed often with valuable content, regularly publishing blog posts, and engaging with people on social sites will keep customers AND Google happy; no matter how many versions of the Panda appear.

Rather focusing on the technology, its best to focus on the principles. The business purpose should drive your technology needs, not the other way around.

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