We have been asked by quite a few clients about whether SEO is still worth doing – they have read quite a bit recently about over optimised sites being penalised by Google in their latest update which is known as the Penguin Update.

Penguin is the latest significant change to the way in which Google determines who ranks where in its search results and much ‘noise’ has been evident over the past 3 or 4 weeks about this.  Much of this noise has come from people who do not fully understand the finer points of organic search engine optimisation and we thought it might help if we did the next couple of posts on this topic.

First of all it’s important to focus on what is really happening both to your sites and those of your major competitors and make your own decisions based on that rather than what you hear.  If your site has been impacted by the recent algorithm change by Google the chances are that your site content is not of great quality and many of the links that you had pointing to your site were created via poor quality link building.

The Penguin algorithm change was made by Google to improve the quality of the results returned to its searches.  It is often said that Google is determined to feature only the websites of large corporate players on Page 1 of its results but there is little foundation for these rumours.  Many sites on Page 1 of the results are for larger businesses but the truth is these sites often have more content and give more information to the searcher and this is the real reason why they are on Page 1.

Google’s two main drivers currently are:

  • quality of the web page content and the value it gives for visitors
  • social reputation and social media activity

The key to having a good organic SEO position for your keyword phrases is still good quality links, created in relevant good quality fresh content that adds value to the reader.  If your site has disappeared from the Google results, albeit that your site has good content and a good number of links the chances are that the majority of those links pointing to your website were coming from sites that have been de-indexed by Google.  Effectively this means that your own site content has not been penalised by Google but the sites that linked to you were not of sufficient quality and therefore any value that was given to you for those links is no longer helping you.  If you think this might have happened to you the answer to regain your previous ranking could simply be to replace the ‘lost’ links with good quality links.

We will continue to expand on this topic in our next post.  If you would like any more information about our Search Engine Optimisation services please leave a comment below or visit our SEO page.

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