2012 was a big year for SEO. We saw the introduction of Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, and boy did they turn the SEO world into a state of blind panic.
We should really look at 2012 as a year to regroup and relearn SEO and focus on providing our visitors on quality, relavant content. We have written a lot about Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, but we thought it was about time to sum up what they have taught us and how we should move forward.
Here is what 2012 taught us and how to approach future SEO campaigns:
Many people still believe that they should put all their effort and focus on a single keyword, but these days are long gone.
One of the main areas of the Google Penguin update was looking at websites that are over-optimised. It is very hard to over-optimise your site when you are posting quality, relevant content that targets many longtail keywords instead of a single keyword.
You may not know, but approximately 50% of all traffic comes from long-tail searches. So not only can you pick up more traffic from a whole range of keywords, but you can also decrease your risk of getting penalised for over-optimising your site.
People have been using Black Hat techniques for many years to try and cheat their way to the top of the search engine results. Google has been fighting against these techniques for many years, but the Panda update has been the biggest hit yet.
If you are still trying to cheat the system by spinning articles, using content farms or blog networks and other questionable linking techniques, then it is likely that you are going to feel the wrath of Google.
Going back to the previous point, quality, relevant content is going to go a long way. If it is interesting and engaging, people are going to link to it. This makes your back-linking structure a lot more organic and not forced as you would see with paid links. Another thing to consider would be guest article posting on other blog websites, this is a great way to get a link back to your site.
It was suggested by a former employee of Google’s search quality team last year that relevance is the new Page Rank. Many people still seem to obsess over Page Rank, but in reality it is an outdated metric that doesn’t really represent the quality of a website’s back-links.
Many tests have shown us that a link from a relevant site that has a PR1 or even PR0 can significantly help your rankings in comparison to a random PR6 website.
Instead of trying to concentrate on link-building, keyword targeting and over optimising your website, try to focus more on good old fashioned marketing techniques. Create a campaign that is going to attract interest and create a buzz. This is going to get people talking, and with the help of social media, your message could potentially reach millions of people.