Everybody wants a better search engine ranking. High search engine rankings mean more visitors and thus more orders. In the golden days of search engine optimisation (SEO – the techniques we use to get better rankings) there were endless technical tips and tricks you could use to make the search engines think your website was better than it was. But search engines are much smarter these days and this old-style menu of techniques now reads more like this (see video below).
What Is Spam And Why Do Pandas Want To Annihilate It?
(See image above)
Search engine spam is anything you do to try to trick Google and their associates into thinking your web pages should be listed higher up the search engine results pages. The important word here is trick. There are lots of legitimate things you can do to make your web pages rank better, it’s only the underhand methods that are frowned upon.
Old Style SEO
For instance, you might have found that thousands of people search every month for “red widgets”. You’d then create a web page completely based around this keyword phrase. You’d make sure the page title was Red Widgets. You’d lever the phrase into your text so it made up exactly 5% of the words (called keyword density). You’d make the page address red_widgets.htm. You’d list the page on as many web link schemes but you could find. And so on.
All of this led to web pages that were built to trick search engines rather than inform and help website visitors. Page quality was terrible and people had to trawl through endless search results to find some meaningful information.
Google in particular got angry about this and decided to do something about it.
They genetically engineered breeds of killer pandas and penguins and set them to wander the streets searching for corrupt Webmasters.
Not really – but it got your attention! And actually that’s what it felt like for quite a few website owners.
Panda, followed by Penguin, Hummingbird and so on were the codenames for Google’s software updates. These updates tried to identify spam websites and remove them from the search engine results. Anyone who had been using spam techniques was in big danger of losing all their search engine traffic. And there were some high-profile website deaths including BMW’s German website.
Make Friends With a Panda! (And a Penguin and Hummingbird)
These days you have to play nice with our furry and feathery friends.
In terms of what you need to do the fight against spam has made the concept of SEO quite simple.
Google and the other search engines want to promote websites that give a great user experience.
If your website gives a great user experience you will move up the search engine rankings.
If you don’t give a good experience, and especially if you try to use any trickery, your website will plummet into oblivion.
This series of articles will take you through all aspects of creating a great user experience. Make sure you sign up for my newsletter or follow me on social media to get access to the latest posts.
Programmer, SEO'er, e-commerce provider and all round IT adviser. I remove the technology barriers so we can make your website a success. My goal is to teach you enough about online marketing so you can make informed decisions and not get bamboozled by the endless stream of jargon and information.
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