Part two of a five-part article:
Panda and Penguin are two major changes to the existing Google algorithm made in 2011 and 2012, respectively. In 2013, Google released a totally new algorithm called Hummingbird (which incorporates and enhances the updates made by Panda and Penguin). These three developments have completely changed the way law firms must look at search.
“Law-firm sites that regularly showed up on page one now find themselves on page 20,” said Robinson. “Since searchers rarely go beyond the second page of results in an online search, this is a real problem.”
Google Panda focuses on keywords. Sites with keyword “stuffing” are demoted or flagged as spam. Panda also penalizes low-quality content, thin content, duplicate content and the amount of advertising compared with the amount of useful content on a site.
Google Penguin focuses on links. It focuses on “black hat” tactics like links that come from poor-quality sites, from sites that aren’t topically relevant to a target market, paid links, and links where the anchor text is overly optimized (exact-match anchor text). Use natural language in your links, and vary it.
“Quality inbound links are not found at garage sales, “said Robinson. “Steer clear of link farms. A few high-quality, carefully developed links perform much better than a large number of weak, irrelevant links. It takes time and perhaps a dedicated staff person to develop and nurture quality links.”
The new Google Hummingbird algorithm looks for a steady stream of high-quality, relevant content and natural language on webpages – and rewards those who provide it. Hummingbird attempts to decipher a search engine query by using the context of a question rather than the specific keywords within the question. Thin content, keyword stuffing and lack of relevant content will cause significant demotions.
“Content marketing is a technique that creates and distributes valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience,” said Davis, “with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
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