New Rules Of SEO-Give Google What Google Wants

After all the Google Panda, Google Penguin algorithm changes and in fact the latest one on EMD or Exact Match Domains last week, you probably know just how serious Google is in weeding out crappy sites. I thought this is a good time as any to sum up what are now the new rules of SEO and just what Google expects to see in a good decent website.


This is not a comprehensive list and is what I have learned from reading up much from many respectable bloggers, SEO specialists and other people whom I have trusted in getting some of my SEO work done for all my niche sites:

Google checks sites out very carefully now for:

1) How trustworthy the site looks.
2) Repeat copyright violations, via DMCA takedown requests.
3) Over stuffing of keywords on the site itself.
4) Relevancy of the backlinks linking back to the site.
5) No follow links in the site’s link profile.
6) An over used keyword being used in the backlinks linking to it.
7) Conversation taking place on social media sites about the site.
8) Social qualifiers in the anchor text linking to the site.
9) Plus a whole slew of other as of yet unknown factors.

If your site does not look trustworthy for whatever reason you risk losing your ranking if it ever gets manually reviewed by Google. So if your site is scarce in the content department or looks unappealing you can count on someone snitching your site out and you losing the ranking if and when it gets to the first page of the SERP’s.

SEO is a very competitive world. Someone with better content on their site than yours is not going to like losing their ranking to you if your content is rotten. So keep that in mind whenever you expend energy or money attempting to rank a site.

Your site needs to be clean looking, decent amount of original content, not overly plastered with advertisements and properly optimized for the new algorithm in order to succeed in the post Panda and Penguin era of SEO.

What is the proper way to optimize your site post Penguin?

For starters you can throw the old optimization playbook we have all been playing by right out the window because the plays just plain do not work anymore.

SITE DESIGN
Google has made it clear that clean layout, logical navigation, and appealing design are now an integral factor in their determining a site’s ability to gain ground in the SERPs. While using an ultra-simplistic layout to maximize CTR or a widely-used free template to save on up-front costs for bulk site building may seem appealing, you’ve really got to ask yourself if the potential long-run sacrifice is worth the short-term savings. Perhaps it may be; but in most cases I believe it’s not.

PAGE TITLE TAG – <title>Page Title</title>
I never choose to single out one specific on-page element that is more important than all else, but if I did, it would be the page title tag. Along with the meta description tag, they’re the only pieces of your website that are explicitly displayed to visitors in the SERPS. Good practice of this tag calls for insertion of a single instance of your keyword aside or within other words that are relevant to your site content. In addition, be sure each page on your site has a unique title tag that does not exceed a total of 10 words.

Appropriate –> <title>Guide to YOUR KEYWORD and other keywordy things</title>
Not Appropriate –> <title>YOUR KEYWORD</title>
Not Appropriate –> <title>YOUR KEYWORD | A Variation of Keyword | And Another Variation of Keyword | And One More Variation of Keyword</title>

 META DESCRIPTION TAG
<meta name=”description” content=”A sentence or two containing a single keyword instance within page-relevant text, unique from all other meta descriptions, and less than 160 characters.” />

With the page title tag, the meta description tag is shown to search engine visitors on the SERP as a snippet below your page title listing. Make sure it contains spam-free text with a single instance of your keyword, does not exceed 160 characters, and is present but unique on every single page of your website.

META KEYWORDS TAG
<meta name=”keywords” content=”primary keyword,secondary keyword,tertiary keywords…” />
Do not use the meta keywords tag. All of the top search engines have said for years that they ignore the meta keywords tag – but we still recommended its integration, cuz, you know, just in case. But now that Google has made it clear that the latest algorithm updates are exactly focused upon seeking out examples of keyword spam and over-optimization, it makes absolutely zero sense to hand them the master list of the terms they should seek out for examination. Dump it from every page on your website!

 TOTAL WORD COUNT & ANCHORED TEXT RATIO
The minimum recommended word count for a single page is 450 words, but do not place all 450 words within anchors. In general, a page’s normal body text should outweigh its anchor text by a margin of AT LEAST 5 to 1

OVERALL PAGE KEYWORD DENSITY & ON-PAGE ANCHORS
There is no magical target keyword density which the search engines are seeking. Like many other factors, keyword density is elastic; the ideal percentage is variable and relative to other site factors. That being said, some safe generalizations we can make are:

1. Keyword density should be above 0.5% – one keyword instance per 200 words on your page;
2. Keyword density should not exceed 4% – eight keyword instances per 200 words;
3. Keywords should not appear excessively as anchor texts upon your page. Once or twice in the main navigation and once within relevant body copy is acceptable;
4. Keyword instances should be spaced apart from each other, never used in repeated spam fashion;
5. Keyword instances should not be stylized (bold, italics, underline) without reasons pertaining to enhancing visitor experience.

PAGE HEADINGS & IMAGE ALT ATTRIBUTES
Your keyword should appear once within an H1 tag upon your page and once within the alt attribute of one of your page’s images, but never in excessive fashion. It used to be good and standard practice to see how many keywords we could jam into H1′s and image alt attributes, but no longer.

WORDPRESS TAG CLOUDS
Do not use them.

SITE MAPS
HTML Site Maps and XML sitemaps greatly enhance a search engine’s ability to crawl your pages in an effective manner. An HTML Site Map is a page the same as any other on your website that contain a single link to every other page on your site. It should be linked to from your site’s navigation or subnavigation in the same manner as the other top-level pages. An XML sitemap is an xml file containing links to your site’s pages that is published for search engines. It should be named sitemap.xml and placed on the top level of your site directory – yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml.

Of course all that may change overnight when the next algorithm is rolled out but as for now keep them in mind when optimizing your site.

SEO or search engine optimization has evolved to an unimaginable state like today. Gone are the days when it was so easy to rank your niche site or your blog by just blasting your site with 10,000 links using your main keyword.Today Google wants you to be continually building high quality links using to a wide variety of similar keywords not just to your home page, but inner pages too. While SEO is a lot more expensive today it still is by far the best way get high search engine rankings that stay for a long time. Outsource to the professionals to do the job if you can afford it as that takes care of all the headaches and heartaches.
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A Legitimate Home Internet Business researching work at home ideas this blog was started by yours truly, an ex-banker running a home business helping others start and grow their business, finding new ways to make money online. Read More About Me

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53 Responses so far.

  1. Google’s latest Penguin and Panda algorithm updates hit, turning the online marketing world upside down…or maybe right side up.

  2. You this post is complete tutorial on the on site and well as off site SEO. Today most of the webmasters are ignoring these and their sites are penalized.Google Panda and Penguin are really very clever.

  3. I think Google Penguin update is handing those sites that are over optimized. These sites are penalized because of this fact. Google panda update is related to the stolen contents.

  4. Actually I hadn’t heard of #7, and if that was truly the case I think millions of people wouldn’t have any page rank at all, especially me, who’s gone after Google and said often on my blog how I don’t trust them. And they rewarded me with Authorship ranking and a PR of 3, even after I said I didn’t care. lol

    With all that said all the other things you mentioned are just good practices for blogs and websites in general. However, the 450 word thing is probably a bit much, since the average writer doesn’t have the capacity to consistently hit that number (I hate saying that but we’re both seen enough blogs and websites to know it’s true). I think a good number is close to 300, and I think someone could get away with a few more keywords and keyword phrases as long as the copy didn’t look like it was trying to game the system.

    Here’s one of those things to remember. Sure, Google is the big dog, but they’re not the only search engine in town. I won’t even use them anymore except when I’m checking statistics. Many of the searches they give up aren’t good ones. I have ranked in the top 10 for many keywords on other search engines yet not been seen by Google because it sees so many other junk websites. And you’re never going to beat those guys until Google decides to take on everyone and make most search local, so you might as well try to be the best you can be and not worry about pleasing Google as much.

    And, if you do that, you’ll probably make them happy along the way.

  5. Google Penguin and Panda update create a tremendous effect on most of the website rankings. They removed sites that contain rehashed content and overly optimized keywords as they are marked as spammers.

  6. Peter keep my sites filled with plenty of relevant content that links to countless keywords. The goal is to stay natural as possible so your site will rank accordingly.

  7. I’m printing this article right now. Incredible stuff about google and what it takes to optimize my site. Thanks for this.

  8. I think Google Penguin update is handing those sites that are over optimized. These sites are penalized because of this fact. Google panda update is related to the stolen contents.

  9. Agen Rugby says:

    I loss all the keyword rankings of my website after Penguin update. This is really good stuff after reading this post I got some valuable information on On page as well as Off page. I will follow all these tips to get back my website rankings. Thanks for sharing such useful information keep on posting.

  10. John says:

    Google has a way in surprising us, good thing is we can prepare if Google’s standard changes.

  11. first, great article… really simplifies to the average reader to grasp and understand the latest google algo updates in simple terms to understand. Also your point about dumping the meta keywords list is very important as its definately not a good idea to have its better to focus on proper headings/content and social lift(social signals) to target keywords.

  12. James Hake says:

    Hi,
    Whatever mentioned in the post for Search Engine Optimization is providing most of the things worth.
    Yes, Google’s new algorithms penguin and panda are really beneficial for the online business.

  13. Elsa says:

    I guess the changes are for the better. We have to agree that there has been a lot of websites trying to fool google. I’ve seen high ranked sites that really looked poor and always wondered if that was fair. Maybe now we’ll have a more fair ranking.

  14. cyril says:

    This article gives new SEO Technique for everyone. Thanks for sharing it

  15. Penguin and Panda updates really changed the SEO game rules. It’s harder to rank now, but who works hard will manage to rank well.

  16. As long as you follow Google guidelines you will never be punished. So if you create content that are beneficial to people, and are not spamming your way to the top results page…then you should be fine. I mean why would they ever punish a site that sticks to the rules. I think it is great that they clean it up.

  17. All these updates certainly have changed the game of SEO and made it harder to just “get by” with the usual techniques.

  18. I may be way out of the loop, but I wasn’t aware Google had actual people reviewing the look and layout of a website. Good to know!

  19. After google penguin and panda updates SEO is more difficult and technical now. You are absolutely right that we should do SEO as google ants because when we are playing on googl’e ground we should follow googl’e rules to be successful and always avoid low quality work as well as black hat techniques.

  20. Some people say the changes in google algorithm are for the better. we’ve seen high ranked sites that really looked poor and always wondered if that was fair.
    thanks for the articles

  21. Adam says:

    Thanks for sharing such an informative post Peter. This will definitely make all the bloggers aware of keeping their blog up-to-date and with relevant content and back-links. Today many bloggers do not take this in notice and hence gets penalized. Google Panda and Penguin are doing really great job!

  22. That is why I try to diversify my seo and not rely on one particular method. SEO changes all the time and what worked yesterday might not work tomorrow.

  23. Search engine optimization requires adequate marketing skills. The above post provides great advice on how to improve ones rankings in different search engines. I have used the above tips and managed to improve my online website.

  24. Punit says:

    Really a great post to make a awareness among people who really want to develop their business through SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in this internet era. Hence, choosing a perfect and professional seo company is one of the critical task for everyone. Performing an effective and seo friendly techniques for business development is must.

  25. anunsyo says:

    This is very helpful to optimize my site. Google is incredible.Thanks for this.

  26. It’s a nice post to provide a good information. You shared a really good information. I bookmarked this site further more useful information. Thanks for sharing this………

  27. Ashutosh says:

    With all new Panda and Penguin updates, it’s really getting hard for websites to reach more traffic and attract people to their sites. But thanks, you showed some of the tips to fight these new algorithms and maintain the traffic ratio.

  28. Thanks for sharing. Google’s new algorithm makes all aware about their sites. These rules really help all of us in managing our site ranking in better position.

  29. Ben says:

    Yes, definitely new rules must be implemented. Well, this big G really wants to filter every website there is.

  30. Denis says:

    Thanks for a great informative post. SEO has changed – its not easy as it have been. But it has some advantages – you only need a few good links to rank your site. The name of the game is quality not quantity.
    About the tips you mentioned – it all boils down to one thing – make your site
    for the user and not for Google. Make a high quality site! On the log run you will be successful!

  31. Craig says:

    Thanks for this Peter, found it super useful!

  32. marketing says:

    As we All know that Google is very Smart now..and It should..Now SEO has a worth. thanks to google.

  33. Chaun says:

    Very nice blog post, I learned a lot from all this, and will be looking forward to trying to put some of these things/

  34. Andrei says:

    Well well… Basically google wants us to do genuine content and that’s it. FIne.

  35. James says:

    Thanks for sharing such a great article and it was quite interesting reading it.I agree with you Ashutosh that with the new Penguin and Panda updates it is becoming difficult to attract more and more traffic.Thanks for sharing some of the important steps for driving more traffic.I think some high quality links matter more and this should be the adopted strategy.

  36. Jack says:

    Thanks for detailing all the important points about all the aspects that Google checks around in a website.I have found the points very useful to me and thanks again for detailing everything because it has taken lot of efforts from your part to gather all this important information.

  37. Jack says:

    After the penguin and panda updates everything is changing.Efforts are required from the part of bloggers to keep pace with this ever increasing updates which are taking place now and there.Also site maps are very helpful and they are quite useful for crawlers and search engines.

  38. Very good blog post thanks for the info my keywords was overstuffed now its time to fix that.

  39. Thanks for the article, SEO is getting more and more important and I really love reading about it.

  40. kannan says:

    i learned some details about google,seo etc thanks for sharing.

  41. Well post Peter!!!!!!
    Really really useful for webmasters

  42. i have read about the google the google need to naked link so you have mention in your article its really helpful for us thank you.

  43. AppSquare says:

    Your website could have or might have been penalized because of the following reasons:

    Inappropriate Page Title – If the title does not make any sense and is stuffed with keywords.

    Irrelevant Content – Your website is about food and your content is on crockery. If the content provides no true value to the visitor and has repetitive information.

    Participation in link exchanges – If you have exchanged links from dubious or bought sources.

    So we should implement some tips.Thanks for sharing such an informative post.

  44. There are lot of things for the SEO lovers. Its a complete tutorial about the On page optimization.But I am little confused about the title Tag.can you please further explain by taking an example?? Thanks

  45. ansh says:

    i think your point about dmca violations is really important these days…

  46. Thanks for this information – I find it very useful for my own page optimisation. Hopefully I’ll get a higher search engine position after some changes I see I need.

  47. Google talk about SEO rules and they themselves do not follow mostly SEO rules,

  48. Great info, Peter, thanks! I have a traditional brick and mortar business, but my internet presence is GREAT for my business. I may have been guilty of some of the bad as I’ve been consistently in the top three for some time. It seems that my latest site overhaul may need another look!

  49. Some of the best info I’ve read regarding Penguin and Panda. Bookmarked!

  50. Many people will disagree but I actually think the penguin update is a NECESSARY and USEFUL update. What most people do not realize is that the penguin update essentially weeds out blogs and websites which are useless to a user but are on the top pages of google.

  51. It’s a nice post to provide a good information.This article gives new SEO Technique for everyone. Penguin and Panda updates really changed the SEO game rules. Thanks for sharing such an informative post.

  52. Joachim says:

    Very very useful article regarding Penguin and Panda. I’m printing right now. Incredible stuff about google and what it takes to optimize my site. Thanks for this.

  53. Som Gupta says:

    I loss all the keyword rankings of my website after Penguin update. This is really good stuff after reading this post I got some valuable information on On page as well as Off page

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