The Penguin has Landed

We recently saw the release of Google's Penguin 2.0 update (which is actually their fourth Penguin update, but whatever). I'm going to provide you with a quick run-down of how to continue to stay ahead of the game and avoid getting sunk.

Google being Google, they very much beat the same drum in terms of what they recommend to webmasters. Here’s how the Google of the future recommends you achieve online success:

  • Build a great website.
  • Make awesome content with high-end user value.
  • Visitors will magically appear.

While there is some truth to what Google says, back in the real world, it just isn't that simple. There are over 500 million domains on the web, so unless people can see and share it, your awesome content doesn't mean squat. Behind Google's simple guidelines, there is a lot you should be keeping in mind and implementing to ensure success.

Here's an overview:

  • Continually identify audience demand — keyword research, keyword research, keyword research! If you know what your audience is looking for and consuming, you can plan content to meet demand. Look at monthly search volumes, market trends and a combination of long/short-tail terminology.
  • Content marketing: this is the new link building. Create content based on your research and use it to gain links and social interaction. Great uses of content marketing include video, tools, infographics and newsjacking.
  • Work on brand. This doesn't mean focus all your content on your brand, since doing this will result in sales-centric content and this is often a big turn-off for audiences. Use traditional marketing tactics such as press releases to drive branded content while remaining news-worthy.
  • Syndicate. This isn't Field of Dreams. Even if you build it, they may not come. You must promote and seed your content in every way possible. I'm talking social sharing, engagement in forums, and guest-blogging around the web. I'd even go as far to say that you should be supporting your content with a PPC campaign to get the ball rolling. Anything you can do to broadcast your message and content should be used.

As with every Google update, Penguin 2.0 has sent small (and big) business owners into a frenzy of panic and confusion. But this needn't be the case. With a solid content strategy, heavily focused on the end user and audience value, you can be sure to not just overcome Penguin, but to win at it.


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