The Penguin update should have spelled the end of the days of calculating “keyword density” for those who create written content. With the last update, Google’s engineers openly stated that its algorithm would reward good content.
However, executives have said this in the past and it seems that many sites with poor quality writing remained high in the rankings for various keywords.
But the Penguin update was a wholesale slaughter for some webmasters who built their site on the unwritten rules established in the SEO community on the kind of content necessary to attain high rankings. Sites created content utilizing the ‘old rules’ could have been caught in any of the various new Penguin-based traps set to filter out of the Google search engine what their people thought lead to a bad user experience:
1: The page could have been considered to be over optimized
Since Google did not spell out exactly what they meant by this, it is clearly possible that a page written in a somewhat nonsensical manner with the exception of the targeted keywords would be easy to spot and discount.
2: The page could have been considered to dis-engage readers
One of the most important factors spoken of explicitly is the fact that user engagement would be rewarded. How easy would it be for search engine spiders to look at the amount of time visitors spent on a page and or how quickly they left it Pages that have less than quality content leave a very definite footprint.
3:The page probably had little to no evidence of being shared on social networks
Google has stated ever since late 2011, that social signals matter. In other words, did others in a social circle find the content worthy or reposting, re-tweeting or repinning? While not having these thing probably doesn’t count against a page, but if the page gets what is in effect a zero on its social signals grade, the effect is the same.
So what do webmasters and content creators need to do to craft what the Google considers to be “high quality” content?
- The content should be written for the reader, and not for a search engine robot.
- The content should add something to the discussion instead of regurgitating the same points that have already been stated by others.
- The content should be unique and not posted elsewhere on the web.
These factors are important because they will lead to the kind of pieces that others will want to share with their personal and professional networks. It is also the kind of content that people will want to take their time to read, understand and even bookmark. The experience that others have with the content will leave the kind of clues that will be easy for a search engine robot to pick up on in the future.