If there’s anything we’ve learned in this business, it’s that nothing stays the same for long.
SEO is always changing and evolving. In fact, Google search algorithm changes around 500 to 600 times each year. And with the frequent algorithm updates, it’s getting harder than ever to pin down the key to ranking higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
No one—not SEOs, not content marketers, and not even the folks at Google—can accurately predict what any future update will look like, as well as how it can affect site rankings. What we all know to date is that over the years, many algorithm updates focus on weeding out spammy, low quality, and thin content so that they appear less frequently in the search results.
With that, it seems that to get your site to top positions in the SERPs, you need to focus on quality content. But if you want your site to stay on the first page of the results pages even with a Google algorithm update, you need much more than that—you need an update-proactive content marketing strategy.
“Update-Proactive” Content Marketing Strategy
Most marketers and businesses wait for a crisis or a penalty to strike before they employ a good marketing strategy. This is being update-reactive—and it will cost you more than half of your traffic and revenue in the process. Remember, search engine penalties are the bogeyman of the SEO world, and it could send your business hurtling off its tracks.
Recovering from a penalty may be possible, but it’s not easy. It’s difficult, and it’s gradual. Don’t get whacked in the first place by employing an “update-proactive” content marketing strategy instead.
Knowing how to improvise, adapt, and overcome—that’s what having an update-proactive content marketing strategy is all about. Marketers and businesses need to pay attention to the upcoming algorithm updates, and adapt as needed even before they hit you. This will make your content and your site more resilient to the changes.
In other words, being proactive is far better than being reactive if you want to minimize the business-crushing risks and stay glued at the top of the SERPs.
Being Panda Update-Proactive
First launched in February 2011, the Panda update is an algorithm that’s become one of Google’s core ranking signals. It assesses the quality of a site, and penalizes those with low quality content. In July last year, the search engine giant began rolling out the latest Panda update.
To be Panda update-proactive, make sure to focus on providing high quality content. Improve your existing pages that have thin material with little insight rather than delete them. Keep in mind that improving the quality of your pages doesn’t mean simply adding more text—it means making those pages more user-focused.
Being Penguin Update-Proactive
First released a year after the Panda update (April 2012), Penguin targets spammy links. With the Penguin, Google looks at backlinks to determine a site’s authority and reputation, and then using it to determine rankings. Penguin and Panda often go hand in hand, especially when it comes to Google’s big push to raise the quality of content in the SERPs.
The next update, according to Gary Illyes, is set to roll out within weeks—, which means it’s high time to become Penguin update-proactive.
Focus on organically developing a solid backlink profile. To do so, create informative pieces that people will surely want to source with a backlink. Distribute them on social media as well to effectively attract attention to your work. You can also have guest posts published on other sites to leverage content and build a strong backlink profile.
Being Hummingbird Update-Proactive
Launched in the summer of 2013, the Hummingbird update was developed to improve Google’s semantic search capabilities. It helps the search engine to respond to queries by understanding its context and intent.
This update is a sign that Google does not simply, and blindly, match where they connect keywords in the query with keywords in a piece of content. This means your content needs to go beyond just the keyword; it needs to show an understanding of what users want.
As SEO continues to evolve, marketers and businesses should also tweak their content marketing strategy accordingly. It may require some hard work, but it’s the only way to make sure your business stays on top of its SEO game.
At C1 Partners, the leading Denver SEO firm, we will help you embrace change as it comes with our propriety blend of content marketing strategies, marketing knowledge, and technical best practices. Call us today—no other Denver SEO company can provide the same level of services we do.