Thursday, May 17, 2012

Penguins, Pandas or People

Panda image from OpenCage.info
I publish these posts to the Creativity Paradox each week with the expectation that they will be read by real people. However, for many sites, real people are not the primary audience. Too many sites were created primarily to influence Google’s page rank algorithm with little regard to the quality of the content.

Google’s business model is based upon providing accurate and relevant search results so people use the site whenever they need to find information. Web developers who want their sites to rank higher can help Google improve search accuracy by employing basic search engine optimization techniques that clearly identify the content on each page of the site, provide text labels for images and encouraging other sites to link back the site.

Often SEO crosses a line from improving search engine accuracy to trying to deceive the search engine. In recent years, SEO has focused strongly on building lots of links to sites, often by placing identical content on hundreds or thousands of sites. In response, Google’s Panda algorithm update released in February of 2011 lowered the ranking of sites that appeared to have “unnatural links” or links from duplicate sites.

The Panda update led many SEO practitioners to switch from posting links in duplicated content to posting links in slightly modified content. Google responded in April of 2012 with the Penguin update to lower the rankings of pages that are violating their best practices guidelines. It is a never ending battle.

There is a better way. 

Create great content!

People come to your website or blog to learn something.  Make sure that the content they find on your site is original and relevant. Keywords should be used because they naturally fit into the context. Build links back to your site from other sites that also have original and relevant content.

When you design your site for a human audience, your readers will have a reason to stay once they arrive.


The Creativity Paradox is sponsored in part by Convertible Solutions which supplies specialty paper substrates to digital printersdirect marketing companies and photo book fulfillment companies.