Only 7 percent of site owners claim to have fully recovered from the negative impact of Google’s Penguin 2.0 algorithm update on their website’s rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for their targeted keywords, based on Search Engine Roundtable’s recent poll. Therefore, it only goes to follow that the search engine’s most recent algorithm update has had a major effect on the SEO efforts that many content marketers rely upon to ensure their articles and sites are discovered via search engines.
The significance of Google’s latest algorithm update lies in the fact that SEO copywriting, or the practice of writing website copy that both appeals to users but also contains carefully selected keywords seeded naturally throughout in order to help improve the site’s rankings in the SERPs for those keywords, has become an increasingly important element of the content marketing toolbox. The search engine’s changes that influence this practice as a ranking factor can result in lower rankings and therefore decreased referral traffic via search if the algorithm determines that the content was not created with Penguin 2.0’s best practices in mind.
With over 53 percent of marketers saying their site’s organic search rankings (and consequently, their corresponding referral traffic from search) dropped as a result of Penguin 2.0, understanding these new best practices for optimized digital content is an even more important tool for professional content writers in order to ensure their work still appears on the first page of Google’s search results. While it has been reported that the majority of Penguin 2.0’s changes are focused on removing sites from the SERPs that rely heavily unnatural or spammy links, keyword-stuffing and related types of similarly unnatural content creation or copywriting are also an issue.
The way for content marketers to fix or avoid problems created by the Penguin 2.0 updates is to write their content with human readers in mind and let the targeted keywords appear naturally in the copy. Avoiding overly promotional or “filler” content that is simply there to ensure more usage of a given keyword is important — not only to avoid potential negative search performance, but also to ensure that the audience actually engages, learns from, enjoys and shares that content.
What’s more, the Penguin updates are meant to promote sites that have natural link profiles and user engagement, and penalize those who purchase it via paid links and social fans. Therefore, there is even more motivation for content marketers who rely on SEO copywriting and the resulting rankings to focus on creating quality content that holds value. Mixing up the type of incoming and outbound links is also helpful, as it helps show a variety of sources were used to create the final article, post or other piece.
In addition, anyone responsible for SEO copywriting needs to be aware of the social media signals that also play a major role in the Penguin 2.0 update. Google uses the amount of social engagement from a site’s visitors as a signal of quality, so creating content that motivates users to spread the word, as well as making it easy to share it via Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus integration, is an important element in the post-Penguin 2.0 digital marketing world.
Of course, with search engine optimization and page-one rankings being a major point of differentiation for content marketers in general, keeping ahead of Google’s algorithm updates and staying on page one of the search engine results is key. According to Search Engine Watch, the number one position received 33% of search traffic in the Chitika’s study; thus, staying at the top of the SERPs is essential.
Finally, it is important to remember that getting hit by the Penguin updates is not a death sentence. Updating or revamping your SEO copywriting plans and content marketing strategies as well as working on improving the quality of your site’s backlink profile and social presence will go a long way toward fixing any drops in rankings.
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