End of 2012: What the Panda and Penguin Algorithms Really Mean for SEO – Part 1

Won’t you just die if you hear one more internet marketer complain about how hard SEO has become since Panda and Penguin rolled out? Sure, these algorithm updates make it a lot harder for everyone to obtain massive amounts of back links, and a lot of once profitable sites are now relegated to collecting dust on the web.

It really shouldn’t have been a big surprise to anyone in the industry, though. Google has been updating the algorithm on a regular basis going all the way back to 2004. Each algorithm update has been focused on the same thing – improving the results that are returned to users.

By proxy, that means that each algorithm update focuses on devaluing and deindexing spammy content. Panda and Penguin didn’t do anything new. They just eliminated the most recently developed and overused SEO techniques.

Getting Back on Track
Anyone who is serious about making money on the internet had to take a long, hard look at their strategies after these updates rolled out. But their conclusions are no different than those made by search engine marketers who were around when Cassandra or Boston rolled out. (For those of you who weren’t around, those were updates that lead to similar shakeups in the world of SEO).

Spun content, spammed back links, article directories, and social bookmarks took a major hit. They were viable, and extremely profitable, for a short period of time. But everyone knew, all along, that Google would catch up and kill off these techniques.

Most internet marketers thought that private blog networks, like Build My Rank or Unique Article Wizard, were safe, too. But there were disciples of Google prophesying their downfall from the very beginning. Why, then, was anyone really surprised when Google completely devalued all of their back links?

Is Spam and Easy SEO Gone for Good?
Not yet, and not for as long as the internet continues to grow, evolve, and shift into new forms. Just five years ago social media wasn’t seen as important for search engine optimization. Today, the number of likes, tweets, and shares that your content has on these networks has a similar impact to the number of back links you gain.

As long as there is money to be made, someone will figure out a way to automate the process, or at least make it easier. Since the Google terms of service strictly prohibits these activities, their engineers will continue uncovering them and updating the algorithms to discount any value they could provide.

It’s a never ending arms race. So, should you be on the lookout for the next big thing?  The answer to that question depends on your goals. If you’re just looking to make a quick buck and then get out of the internet marketing game, then the next big thing should work for you.

But if you want your investments of time and money to continue paying off for years to come, then you need a new approach. This series isn’t going to be another one that just tells you how and why you need to create valuable, reader-oriented content. You can find that anywhere.

Instead, it’s going to show you how SEO is shifting to be more brand-oriented and how to capitalize on that. You’ll also learn how the ever shifting sands of easy SEO are actually advantageous. That’s the focus of the next post in this series.

About the author:
Kevin Gao is the founder and CEO of Comm100 Live Chat, a leading provider of live chat software for business. As a software developer as well as a small business expert, he’s always ambitious to revolutionize the way of online customer service and communication.


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