In a constantly changing landscape of SEO, every year, search engines like Google make significant changes in the Search Algorithms. Some of these changes are minor while some are major updates like Panda and Penguin, which affect the search results and rankings of websites to a great extent.
Panda Update: Google's Panda Update is about reducing the ranking of the lower quality websites. Lower quality here means, websites with duplicate content, irrelevant keywords stuffed in the content, irrelevant link distribution, etc.
Penguin Update: The Penguin Update from Google is about penalizing websites with aggressive keyword stuffing in inbound and outbound links, over-use of the exact match domain, spamming content, etc.
Here is the Penguin 2.0 video posted by Matt Cutts on youtube. Watch it to learn more about this algorithm change.
In an SEO campaign, it is important for webmasters and search marketers like you to be alert for these updates and keep your websites up-to-date to refrain from getting affected by these changes in the Search Algorithms. Therefore, your SEO practices should no longer be confined to adding keywords to the websites and establishing links. You should now adopt a 360 degree approach for marketing your websites with relevant link authorities, quality content, relevant keyword research and stuffing, keyword optimization and much more.
Your website keywords are what visitors look for in search engines. They are the phrases that help them connect to your website. Since keywords are the foundation of any SEO campaign, you should first ensure that your keyword strategy is appropriate.
If your website has been hit by Penguin or Panda update recently and you want to recover your position or if you are fearing that your new website will be affected by Panda or Penguin update, here is an ultimate guide to right keyword strategy you should read for making your website Panda and Penguin friendly.
Guide to Keyword Strategy
Right keyword strategy contains right keyword research (mining), keyword selection, keyword stuffing and optimization that is quite crucial to achieve the desired success in the SEO field.
1. Keyword Research/Mining
Keyword research is the initial step to catch hold of the right keyword strategy. There are different tools and techniques provided by Google that help you search for keywords for your existing as well as new website matching your business profile and services. These are
- Google Keyword Tool
- Alexa Keywords
- Google Insight
- Google Trend Search
- Other Keyword Research Tools
- Competitor Keywords
- Competitors Alexa Keywords
From these keyword tools, you should get all the right keywords relevant to your website with appropriate brainstorming.
In case you already have a website that is hit by Panda or Penguin, you should restart your keyword optimization strategy by ensuring that the keyword phrases and density on your website is in line with Panda and Penguin update. For this you must use Google Webmaster Query Report and Google Analytics Keyword Report.
2. Create Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords as the name suggests are longer keywords with more specific terms and are less common but contribute greatly in driving the targeted traffic. Post Panda and Penguin update, you must divert your efforts towards developing long tail keywords instead of generic keywords that separates your websites from others and removes the non-worthy traffic. To make keywords longer, you must consider the below steps
- Add Prefix and Suffix
- Add Localization - Name of the Country or City before and after the keyword
- Create plural keywords by adding â€˜S' at the end of the word
3. Keywords Shortlisting/Selection:
After searching and creating a list of keywords, you should shortlist the most suitable and profitable keywords that are likely to deliver you the desired results. Your keyword selection should be based on any of the below mentioned objectives you want to achieve
- Generate Business Leads
- Create Ad-revenue
- Build Branding and Exposure
4. Keywords Selection for Landing Pages:
After selecting the keywords based on the purpose and objective you want to achieve, you must start separating out the keywords you want to put on various landing pages of your website.
- Homepage - Select keywords containing common services or products highlighting your forte that you want to promote
- Inner pages - Keywords for the inner-pages should be shortlisted based on the information mentioned on the page. While selecting keywords for inner-pages, you must be very specific and avoid using keywords similar to other pages
5. Final Portfolio of Keywords:
When you are ready with a list of shortlisted keywords for your website from various sources, find out their value and competition in terms of Global Search Volume and Local Search Volume. Create a final portfolio of keywords containing high, medium and low competition keywords that you want to target your website with to overcome the issue of over-optimization. Keep in mind, you should not use any other keyword out of the final portfolio.
6. Keyword Stuffing & Optimization based on Priority
In the next step you must prioritize the keywords to be stuffed within the website page. Select 15 most relevant keywords with a good mixture of high, medium and low competition that are likely to provide quick results keeping in mind
- Current rankings of the keywords
- Suggestions from webmaster tools
While stuffing the keywords, decide the percentage of keyword density to achieve the best optimization levels.
7. Continuous Evaluation
The job is not over after adding the keywords in the website. You should continually watch the performance of the keywords added and keep a track of their rankings. You should evaluate the keywords progress every three months and if necessary alter the keywords and stuff them optimally reconsidering the priority.
Conclusion: If you want your website to survive the Panda and Penguin update, create a good keyword strategy utilizing the above guide.