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A Panda, A Penguin and Some Cookies

Over the past few weeks there has been a fair bit happening in the search world and if you haven’t heard from me it has been because I have been busy in the bat cave trying to work out what the effect of these happenings is going to have on your websites and the SEO efforts that are being put in.

There have been a stack of updates on Google over the past few weeks that will have a knock on effect to your website plans and the way you go about promoting it. Now before I mention these, when we SEO types had a bit of a moan at Google for these changes we got told to basically shut up and go somewhere else if we didn’t like it. So it is now time to button up and start playing by their rules 100% or suffer in the future. So we are going to take you through the updates and how we are going to counter the effects with you.

Panda Update
The original Panda update (one of the many ridiculous names Google give their updates, see the next one for proof) back in February 2011 had a major impact on websites with low quality content on their websites. Stripping away a lot of article sites with low quality content and as such removing the web listings for a majority of the web pages that these articles sat on. This also had a knock on effect of the links that were on these pages were also discounted from the link count.

To counter this building better quality links was essential and finding websites to give these links based on a number of different techniques was a good way to go around keeping sites up in the rankings following the Panda updates. However Google in their wisdom have continued to update Panda on a regular basis and the last update again killed off a lot of websites making it even harder for us to build links from websites that were once quality sites.

Penguin Update
As we lose love for black and white fluffy animals thanks to these updates, the Penguin update to help stop with black hat and web spam as well as give a boost to White Hat SEO (which is what we do for you). Now there have been techniques which I am sure you have all seen which is where an article that makes absolutely no sense gets ranked and you are left bewildered at how on earth it go there in the first place. This is using techniques called Spinning and keyword stuffing on your website or article pages.

So what does all this mean to you?
Well it means that all that advice I have been spouting about adding quality content to your website on a regular basis is even more important. It also means adding to social media websites (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube etc) is essential to help build links and social footprint into your website.

Video is also essential on an ongoing basis, Google have added a tool to direct link YouTube videos to Google+ and Google+ hangouts. So get adding your video to YouTube and distributing on other websites to help boost your rankings, try Facebook and Twitvid for example.

As always if you are struggling with content let us know and we can help you create some, we have the ability to build video slideshows quickly and easily , we have the ability to create well edited video quickly as well as the ability to distribute these videos across a wide network of websites to boost your ranking.  We also have, in my slightly bias opinion, some of the best copywriting skills around with a dedicated copywriter who can proof read your own content as well as write good quality SEO content that will help you steer clear of the types of penalties that Google are applying to sites with low quality, keyword stuffed content.

And finally the Cookies.
Not really related to your SEO but more your website as a whole, there is a new directive that will be in place in the EU within the next 2 months. The directive says that you have to tell people if you are collecting data about them on your website in any way what so ever. This includes analytical data from Google Analytics and other such programs.

You will need a privacy policy on all of your websites as well as some way of informing your visitors that you have Cookies on your site that will collect data from their visit. Now this is hugely important as there will be people out there with nothing better to do with their time but report you for not having some way of telling them that you collected their data.

If you use WordPress then there is an excellent plugin from http://civicuk.com/ which you can install on your website and configure to put a small triangle and warning message in the bottom corner of your website (such as the one on here) and it will

If you have any questions about this or would like some help in adding this plugin to your website then please feel free to drop us a line through the contact page on our website and we will be only to happy to help where we can.act as a fair warning. If you are not using WordPress (What are you thinking?) then you can manually install the same code following the instructions on the Civic UK website.

I am now off to see what other things Google are up to and see some more ways our clients can go about building a solid future at the top of the search engine results.

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