Post Penguin On-page SEO Practices
Google has described the Penguin update as a “web spam”update. Therefore it is critical that your site follow Google’s recommendation in regard to making sure your site avoids any of the practices that Google may perceive as being used by search engine spammers. This starts with making sure you have good, relevant On-Page optimization.
Eliminate over optimization in all your page titles.
Search Engines punish sites that try to “keyword stuff” their titles with too many keywords. Check the title of each page on your website for over optimization. Change the titles of your pages to be optimized for human readers, rather than for search engines.
Create unique Title tags and Description tags for every page
Check that every page on your site has a unique title and description that clearly describes the content or purpose of the page. Google Panda update penalizes sites that have a high degree of duplicate content, and duplicate titles and descriptions can sometimes trigger this penalty.
Reevaluate your internal links.
If you have created internal links to a specific page using target keywords in your anchor text, change the anchor text of these links to include brand and generic terms. As a rule of thumb aim for 40% brand links, 40% generic links and 20% target links.
Make sure your site contains the right elements
There are a number of simple elements that Google looks for when evaluating your overall site. These include:
- A Site Map page that helps visitors understand where to find information on your website.
- An XML sitemap to help Google index your site effectively
- A Robots.txt file to specify which files or directories Google should ignore when crawling your site.
- A Contact Page that includes a real-world address
Create useful links between pages on your website
The safest way to create links between pages on your site is to do it manually with a focus on helping the reader discover other relevant content. A great example of this is Wikipedia.com which has a lot of relevant keywords in each entry linked to other definitions throughout it’s site.
Optimize your site’s download speed
If your site takes too long to load, users will go elsewhere and Google will notice that visitors don’t spend much time on your site. This is a strong indicator that your site is poor quality and of poor relevance for the search terms that you’re trying to rank for. You should therefore test the performance of your site using a tool.
Create a helpful 404 page
When your server cannot find a page that your visitor is looking for you should handle this ‘404 Not Found’ error in an elegant and useful way. This could include your home page or your site map. Avoid redirecting all your 404 traffic to a single location such as your home page, as this is can be seen to be a search engine trick for which your site may be penalized.
Optimize your images for humans
For each image on your site, you should include alternative text using the alt attribute.
It is very important not to fill your alt tags with keywords. This is known as ‘keyword stuffing’ and can have a negative impact on your rankings. Instead of trying to stuff keywords in your alt tags, you should take the approach of creating a brief description of the image that would help a visually impaired person using a screen reader to understand what the image depicts and how it relates to your content.
Add rel=”nofollow” to all comment links and outgoing links
Be sure to configure your content publishing software to automatically add the rel=”nofollow” attribute to all comment and outgoing links. This will prevent you from passing your reputation to other sites. More importantly, it prevents
you from being penalized for linking to sites that Google considers to be low quality or spammy.
Add a social dimension
With social media becoming more and more important, make sure that you give your visitors the opportunity to share your content with their friends and followers via FaceBook, Twitter and Google+. Social signals such as traffic, and “Likes” and “Tweets” are all positive signals to the search engines that your site is of a high quality and deserves to rank highly for a keyword phrase.
Focus on keeping people on your site
Log into your Google Analytics account and check your ‘bounce rate’ which is the percentage of users who enter your site and then leave without viewing any other pages. Pages with a high bounce rate are a signal to Google that your page is of a poor quality match for the keyword that they found your page for. Google uses this information as a factor in their search algorithm. Monitor this metric and do what you can to increase the amount of time visitors spend, and the number of pages they view on your site. Give your visitors as many reasons to stay as possible.
Check Google Webmaster Tools for ways to fix your HTML
Google Webmaster tools is a free service that Google makes available to webmasters to help them to diagnose any problems with your website that might affect Google’s ability to index and rank your site. It offers a lot of useful tools to analysis of your site and highlights simple things you should fix such as Google Bot crawling errors, missing pages, and duplicate title tags for example.
This is where eSign Web Services can help you. Our team of experts consists of professionals who are highly skilled, experienced and technically sound who can make any website reach the top rankings in a jiffy. For any other information regarding our Search engine optimization service, you can always contact us.