Google or Google Search is a web search engine and is currently the most popular on the World Wide Web.  You may not know it but Google employs the use of algorithms as a main function of its search engine.  Google’s algorithms are computer programmes that find the information you need when you type a search question on Google’s web search page.

Google’s search engines are constantly searching through the data on the web and categorising and remembering it.  (This is why it is important for your website to be registered with search engines.  Your web designer should always register your website site map with search engines i.e. Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.)  So when you type a query in a google search box, Google will do its best to provide the best quality suggestions for the information you are looking for.

However there have always been people who try and manipulate the system – try to ‘beat the system’. There is money to be made if you can beat Google’s ranking system!   So Google has changes its algorithms to stay ahead.

A few years ago (2012) Google introduced a new style of algorithm called Penguin.  This algorithm was created to decrease/stop websites that violated its Google Webmaster guidelines (this type of manipulation that Google was trying to stop is known as ‘black hat SEO techniques’).

In 2014, the Panda algorithm/filter was implemented, specifically designed to prevent low quality sites and/or pages from ranking well in the search engine results page.  Google has been updating Panda regularly and the current version is 4.1.

To avoid being penalised by Google algorithms, employ good practice of:

  1. Create quality content on your website. Make sure your content is interesting to your audience, be original (do not copy from elsewhere).  Update your website with content regularly, don’t let it get stale.  Post information that people will really find relevant and helpful.  Makes sure content is not too short, grammatically correct and bad spelling free.
  2. Do not steal other people’s articles or work. Google will pick up on this.  Create unique work/articles. Promote your own opinion or topic.
  3. Ensure you have quality back links from good sources – ‘natural links’. For instance, don’t deliberately use backlinks to boost your website ranking that you have purchased!  Do not use backlinks to other websites that are not relevant to your own website.  (Some web designers used to do this as an easy way of creating search engine optimisation).  Google is wise to this behaviour and will penalise.
  4. Don’t post on low quality sites.
  5. Ensure your web site structure is sound.
  6. Don’t do overkill with search engine optimised keywords.
  7. Some sites show adverts, it is best to keep it a reasonable amount as it will turn off your website readers and Google will penalise if you have far too much advertising.
  8. Do not duplicate pages on your website that have the same content for each town you want to serve.
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