Google recently named its algorithm updates for search engine results pages Penguin and Panda, depending on what aspects of the websites they are looking at. As part of a local SEO strategy, companies should understand how each algorithm will affect content on their websites in order to achieve optimal SEO performance.
Mashable reported Google adjusts its algorithms for search engine results about 500 times a year, usually involving minor changes with a few larger updates throughout the year. The most recent large changes include the rollout of the Penguin and Panda algorithms.
The Panda algorithm was released in February 2011 and has undergone 13 adjustments since launching. Panda 3.1 is now looking for websites with thin, stolen or duplicate content more readily, as well as websites with a high advertisement to content ratio. These websites will be penalized for their lack of originality in content and design, placing them significantly lower on search engine result pages. Thus, companies with weak pages should upgrade their content before Panda lowers their rankings, Mashable reported.
Google's Penguin algorithm was released in April, placing tighter guidelines on website optimization, while adding web spam factors to reduce high rankings for consumer-driven content. Tactics such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, unnatural links and content spinning are no longer being awarded higher rankings through the algorithm, and companies should replace such content with unique, media-rich information to improve rankings, Mashable reported.
According to Business 2 Community, the latest Google algorithms are prompting online marketers to find original, fresh content to fill their web pages. This means writers are avoiding copying or closely paraphrasing content from other sources, instead linking to these sources and adding their own information or words. The websites are also being updated on a more regular basis in order to remain relevant and not fall stagnant with regard to the algorithm standards. New information on the company, products, services or industry should be added regularly, possibly in the form of a blog or news feed.
The new algorithms are also prompting companies to use their keywords more sparingly on their websites. The algorithms have been designed to track down keyword stuffing perpetrators and are sensitive to websites with excessive numbers of keywords throughout all content and tags. In order to avoid being mistaken for keyword stuffing, companies should find appropriate places for keywords in the website content and remove excess words or phrases that do not flow with the surrounding content or topics, Business 2 Community reported.