Has it been a happy new year in 2016 so far for website owners? Well, that all depends on what you consider to be good news. On one hand, we’ve heard news that websites have the potential to recover from a major penalty over the next few weeks. On the other hand, websites engaging in spammy link building tactics may end up seeing their rankings drop considerably in the near future.
In addition, we’ve learned some very important details about Google’s core search ranking algorithm, and there’s a new tool recently released that can enhance the reach of your organic Facebook posts.
Full details to follow as we recap the top news stories so far in January 2016.
Latest SEO News
Google’s Panda Algorithm Now Part of Core Ranking Algorithm
As a website or business owner, you may already be too familiar with Google Panda. In a nutshell, it’s an algorithm that serves to demote spammy, thin, or duplicate content. Conversely, Panda serves to move sites with good quality content up higher in the rankings.
Previously, this was a separate algorithm that Google would run at certain times as sort of an add-on to its regular (core) algorithm. Google has now decided to integrate Panda into its core algorithm, which means Panda will be running with greater frequency from now on.
For website owners, this means the need to create quality content is greater than ever. If you’re not actively publishing valuable articles and pages to your website, it may be a good idea to start. Look at your top competitors in search and see what they’re doing. If they have an active blog with well-written content, that could be one of their competitive advantages causing them to rank higher.
If you are actively publishing, make sure it’s as good as it can be before hitting the “publish” button. Creating mediocre content for the sake of publishing something new could hurt you more in the long run than not publishing at all.
New Google Penguin Update Coming in a Few Weeks
Another one of the plethora of animals in Google’s proverbial farm is the Penguin. Penguin, the code-name for Google’s link spam algorithm, serves to demote sites that engage in link building practices that are against Google’s guidelines.
Inbound links are one of the highest weighted search ranking factors, so there’s high pressure on websites to acquire links in order to outrank competitors. The problem is, the pressure can often lead to websites deliberately acquiring as many links as they can, regardless of quality, in order to move up higher in the rankings.
“Unnatural” link building is a strategy that comes with diminishing returns. It may help in the short term, but when Google rolls out their next Penguin update, watch out!
Penguin isn’t all bad though. Websites that have made a concerted effort to either get unnatural links removed, or have them disavowed, may end up seeing themselves rewarded with a rankings boost when the next Penguin update rolls out.
According to Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, Gary Illyes, the next Penguin rollout is due by the end of this quarter at the latest; within a few weeks at the earliest. The next update will also have the Penguin algorithm running in real-time.
If you suspect you have links pointing to your website that may hurt you after the next Penguin update, you still have time to get them removed. If you need help, please get in touch with us to discuss your options!
Target Your Organic Facebook Posts to a Specific Audience
Algorithms and more algorithms. Google has them; Facebook has them too. Every post published from your Facebook page is subject to an algorithm which determines whether or not it gets shown on an individual’s news feed.
Are you tired of being at the mercy of Facebook’s algorithm and not having your posts seen by the right people? Now there’s a workaround that can help get your posts in front of the right segments of your audience… without having to pay to promote them!
Now when you create a Facebook post, there’s a tool called Audience Optimization that will allow you to add interest tags to each post. Use these tags to define the segments of your audience you want the post to be seen by.
For example, if you run a car dealership, you can add something like “Mustangs” as an interest tag or something more generic like “cars”. You can also restrict certain audiences from seeing the post. If your business only serves a local area, you can restrict anyone residing outside that area from seeing your post.
You will have to enable the tool before you can use it. This can be done through the following steps:
- Go to your Page.
- Click ‘Settings’ in the top right hand corner.
- Click ‘General’ in the tab column on the left side of the page.
- Find the row labeled ‘Audience Optimization for Posts’ in the middle of the page and click ‘Edit.’.
- Check off the box that that allows you to begin using the feature.
Facebook says this feature is currently being rolled out to everyone. If you don’t have access to it yet, you soon will.
Wrapping it Up
This year is off to a huge start with two significant announcements from Google and a new tool from Facebook that has the potential to drastically improve the reach of your organic posts.
We expect you may have questions after reading these latest news updates, and we’re always happy to help when we can. Please leave a comment below or use the contact form to get in touch with us.
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