On May 22, Google released penguin 2.0. The main purpose of this update was to provide a more in depth analysis on websites that benefits from link spam. This update helped keep websites with unnatural link building out of the eyes of Google users when viewing the search engine result pages.
Older techniques like Google bombing, anchor text spam and link spam have been heavily scrutinized by this update. These types of updates have a larger impact on SMB’s than larger corporations due to limited resources and typically a less technical group of people.
However, SMB’s need to be aware of some positive things they can do in order to make the most out of these aggressive updates.
Local Business directories are high quality sites that are meant to list your business details. This is very similar to how the “yellow pages” works but these listings are found online. The more higher quality and trusted sites that contain your Business Name, Address and Phone number. These types of links will help you rank locally and provide you with a stronger organic presence.
A page for each location
The recent penguin update calls for more specific pages. The best was an SMB owner can interpret this is by creating a specific page for each location with unique text. By creating pages that have unique location information, you have a better chance to rank that page locally in your DMA.
Added Tip# If you include micro data to these pages you will get an extra boost!
Claim your authorship
Recently Matt Cutts made a video talking about authorship tags and their importance for local SEO. Adding this tag helps Google recognize you from potential spammers or unnatural SEO methods and helps protect you from entering any negative filters associated with this update.
Power of Local Pages
To rank locally, having powerful local pages on Google, Bing and Yahoo can help get you more organic coverage as well as a better ranking in the search results pages. Fill out as much information as you can for these local pages like hours of operation, types of products and services etc. to fully optimize these pages. Push people to provide consumer reviews when possible, having an active and positive customer review section can help you rank better as well as make more sales!
Get involved with your Facebook, twitter and other social platforms. Penguin takes into count your social influence and that plays a part in your overall local rankings. Come up with a post schedule and keep to it. Use more imagery in your posts because studies show there is more engagement when you do. Produce interesting content on your site and share it on your social profiles. This will drive traffic as well as boost your organic rankings.
Clean up your bad links
For the first time ever, we have to worry about the links pointing to our sites from years ago. If you have toxic links pointing to your site, they need to be pruned and removed. Your current links could be holding you back. Link Research Tools offers a Link Detox report you can run. Once you run this report, you can log into your Google Webmaster Tools and disavow those links or even contact the website owners directly to remove the toxic links.
If you apply these 7 simple steps you will see your site start to grow rankings in the search engines quickly and you can rest assured the tactics are implanting are safe and effective.