February 23, 2011 is a date that many SEO professionals will dread. Actually it is a date that SEO amateurs will dread as this was the date the first Panda update came out. If you were doing SEO correctly then this is a date that will have seen your customers and probably your own site improve rankings.
If you were using spammy tactics then this was probably the date that either finished your business or changed the way you do SEO.
Gone are the days when adding spammy text to your website helps your rankings, gone are the times we might think of submitting to thousands of directories.
Today SEO and link building have to be done professionally and steadily. SEO is about ensuring your website has great content, no duplicate content and no pages with little or thin content.
We all know that earning a backlink from great content brings the best results but this isn’t always possible. If you have the most boring of products or services to sell then this can be very challenging.
So your only alternative might be to go out and pursue some links.
Link building isn’t against Google guidelines but link building to manipulate your ranking on Google is. So for example if you want to list your website on a really useful local business directory that is okay provided you link to your website using your company name instead of trying to link to it using anchor text saying “I want to be top of Google”.
Paying for a listing on another website also isn’t a good idea unless you make sure that it is for advertising reasons only. Google will see this as trying to manipulate your ranking on their search engine unless you make sure there is a nofollow on the link. This tells Google that you are not asking them to pass on any pagerank or ranking juice.
So if your rankings are still high after all these Panda and Penguin updates are you safe from future updates?
I still see websites with spammy text in the footer that rank well so I don’t think Google has finished rolling out updates to catch these websites just yet. So if you think you are now immune from a Panda or Penguin update think again!