Summary of Search, July 2013

Remember those tactics that worked so well? And what about the old recommendations in the webmaster guidelines? Well, it’s time to take another look at all of those tactics with the new Google!

Google released a “multi-week update” that continued into July, but the “Panda Recovery Update” got far more interest. Google Panda has been heavy handed since it’s inception, and Google finally released a kinder, gentler version.

Duplicate Content
We see many different ways to deal with duplicate content. Based on results we have seen, we have this recommendation: Use canonical tags whenever possible to deal with duplicate content. Other methods like nofollow, noindex, and robots.txt are prone to leaks or are too aggressive.

Despite many Google help articles recommending duplicate content be removed, Matt Cutts this month noted: “I wouldn’t stress about this unless the content that you have duplicated is spammy or keyword stuffing.”

We are seeing more penalties for on-page over-optimization since Penguin 2.  the good news is, they are easily reversed:

  1.     Diversify those title tags!
  2.     Limit yourself to 2 separators like the | (pipe) character in the title tag.
  3.     Do not repeat anything more than once in a title tag.
  4.     Do not use excessively long title tags. Try to stay between 60-69 characters.
  5.     Look in your code for hidden comments, and usage of keywords with a dash between them (URLs, image names, etc). Consider whether excessive.

Authority Links
With Google’s upcoming (and continued) emphasis on authority links, we recommend these long term strategies:

  1. Link Building for Business Development: Make connections that also build your Google rankings. Think trade shows, associations and resource pages.
  2. Content Marketing Link Building: Use compelling content to create brand awareness and links! Think videos, infographics and guest blogging.

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