Most people who own a website will have heard about the latest Google Panda and Penguin algorithm updates, which have upset the SEO apple cart.
Some of the biggest changes have come from Google cracking down on keyword spammers and on link farms, which are sites that exist only to improve back linking numbers for websites. Despite Google’s statements that these updates do not represent a change in website rankings, many previously high ranking websites have lost their top positions.
This loss of ranking has generated a large outcry from the webmaster community. In response to this, Bing has weighed in with some tips on how to regain lost Internet traffic. In a post called Penguins & Pandas Poetry, the major theme of Bing’s recommendations is diversification.
Bing suggests that webmasters should not rely on Google alone to drive visitors to their websites. Instead, they advise people to make their websites SEO friendly for a variety of search engines. Additionally, webmasters should have accounts at those search engines to ensure that their websites are being indexed.
Bing’s Duane Forrester has stated that webmasters who receive traffic from multiple sources are not hit as hard by a Google search engine ranking drop.
Here are Bing’s five suggestions for webmasters to mitigate the risk of losing substantial traffic during an algorithm update:
- Reality check: Take a long, hard look at your current web strategy, evaluating your traffic sources and examining areas of opportunity you may not be using to their full benefit, such as social or affiliate marketing.
- Forecasting change: While none of us can see into the future, keeping an eye on trends and hot topics can give us an idea of the direction in which we’re headed.
- Preventative work: Building authority, concentrating on the user experience, and keeping the technical aspects of your site current are all important and ongoing tasks.
- Exercises in the obvious: Use any and all data available to you to understand how and why people are using your site and how to keep them there, taking your desired actions. This might include obvious sources and tasks you might overlook, such as analytics, sitemaps, your robots.txt file, and more.
- Diversify, diversify, diversify: Insulate yourself from algorithm changes. When traffic is up from one source, use your time to build out other channels.
Additionally, Forrester has recommended that people use social media sites as a source of visitors. Much like developing a successful SEO strategy, using social media to drive traffic takes time and involves trial and error. However, sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest can provide a substantial number of visitors. Additionally, most search engine algorithms have begun to consider large social media presences on par with a high number of backlinks.
Finally, Bing’s message is that search engine optimization rules are constantly in flux. This means that webmasters cannot depend on one traffic source and hope to succeed in the long term. Webmasters need to assume that change is going to happen and have a plan in place to mitigate fallout when it does.