In the last year we’ve all suffered through a lot of changes with Google’s Panda updates, but what do they hold in store for us for 2012? Will you end up losing ground or gaining ground this year? The only way to tell is to make sure you know the rules of the game for this year coming up, and sticking to them! Here we’re going to go over all the changes you’re going to need to make to make sure you don’t end up on Google’s hit list, and how you can leap ahead of your competitors!
Repetition is Bad
For a long time we all used the same keywords again and again, hoping to hammer into the fun people over at Google that we were the people for x keyword. We all want to be the one people click on in the SERPs, but you’re going to need to vary your act a little. Shake up which keywords you’re using for back linking, and you’ll be able to keep building links without suffering penalties.
If you’re wondering how you’re going to stuff your anchors into your content, stop right now. You want to make sure that your links are as natural as possible; if they look strange in the text, skip it and find a better place for them.
For the last few years there has been a giant push towards social media within Search Engine Optimization; you need to make sure that you’re being social so that you can get all that link juice back to your own site and increase how much an authority Google and the other search engines think you are. You’ll want to do things like creating Google Places pages if you’re a local business, create Facebook fan pages and have an active twitter account to interact with people and spread the good work about what you’re offering online.
One big thing you need to look out for is putting the Google+ plugins on your website; Google is now giving preference to people who have this sharing option on their site (which is leading to an anti-trust case being built against them in both the U.S. and the E.U) to get better rankings. You can’t ignore having a Google+ button on your site, so make sure you do it!
Pay Attention to Where You Link
It used to be that you could just link in and out to anything, and the more links the better. You’ll want to be very careful about who you’re linking out to and where you’re backlinking in from! Try to stick with real authority sites and avoid using content farms that have been slapped with sanctions from Google (eHow is a good example of one that was in trouble but is starting to get better rankings).
Now you know what you need to do and what you need to avoid. Start working towards a squeaky clean image and you’ll be able to reap the rewards in 2012!