It’s not news that historically, major algorithm changes have happened shortly before the holidays. Whether intentionally done to impact retailers or not, Google has historically released strong updates to the Penguin update in October, right as most companies are gearing up their efforts for a strong Q4.
In this post, we’ll explore the previous updates to forecast how you can get yourself ready for changes that may come this year. Check out these 4 things you can look at today to be prepared for the 2015 Holiday season right now:
1. Explore and diversify your anchor text profile
Anchor text is a tricky strategic approach when it comes to SEO for Google. Early in the days of SEO, Google determined what terms you were relevant for by looking at how your links were labeled in the anchor text area. Of course, very quickly, this got abused as a tactic, and it started to become a negative signal instead. You will want to make sure that your back link profile consists of at least 20% branded terms, plus a significant percentage of “URL” anchor texts, for example “www.mysite.com” as the anchor text. Of course, just going out and building amass amount of branded links via directories and social media will do no good, so you need to take quality into consideration.
2. Build links your brand can be proud of
By this I mean that you should be able to stand behind any links that you have placed on behalf of your business. Every link that you set up you should be confident to show to a representative of Google’s Webspam Team. If you are feeling uncomfortable or secretive, you may want to reconsider placing that link.
3. Remove anything that seems unnatural
Chances are, if you hired an SEO agency between 2008 and 2010, it’s likely you have some unnatural links pointed at your website. Luckily, identifying these is very straightforward and easy to take care of: all it takes is a spreadsheet program and common sense. If you see websites in your backlink profile that have URLs like “backlinkdirectory.com” or “linkstoyou.com”, you’ll want to try to get those links removed right away.
4. Don’t forget about your website
Lastly, always remember that the original codename for Penguin was “The Over-Optimization Update.” Over-optimization refers to over-placement of keywords in key areas of your website, such as page titles, page content, etc.
At the end of the day, the key is that you need to make sure you are not “Over-optimized” and spamming Google. Given the timeframe of how Google has historically released the Penguin updates, it is best to start prepping now, and be prepared.
To learn more about how you can get your SEO ready for the Holiday season, join us for our next NetElixir webinar happening later this week! You can still register for it here. We hope to see you there!