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Friday, April 5, 2013

Peacock Exposed

Is Google’s new animal algorithm “Peacock” real? It seems to be the new scuttlebutt these days, just like “SEO is dead,” and “Mobile SEO is in.” I have listened to my top adviser who said that it has not really came out yet, nor is it what some say it is.

What we have learned is that it is not an algorithm to penalize horrible looking websites. It may penalize “poor functioning websites.” These are websites with broken or poorly coded formats, or slow load times. A website’s slow load time is usually because of large pictures or complex flash elements.

I will emphasize that your web page optimization should be a key element before you publish it to the market. We are starting to see data that tells us that content is slowly coming back, so your message needs to be extremely clear and easy to understand. The website has to be engaging in order to keep your bounce rate low. Images have to be the right size for the page load times to be low (I’m still seeing websites with huge images), and then make use of alt tags for those images. Google has no real way of seeing an image, nor evaluating the aesthetic value of a website. If being pretty were the case and Google could see it, flash would still be a major factor. However; thanks to HTML 5 you can get really close to a flash website and create some really engaging layers and web effects, but your opening page must have content! If your opening page or home page is all images and code with very little content, you make it hard for the web crawlers to read and index your website. I will also add that a properly coded website, with correct title tags and message, will fit the so called “Mobile Search Engine Optimization” criteria. This is only half of the game.

The best thing to have on your website is a way to track everything. To understand your ROI, you have to know that everything is trackable on the internet!

Here is a list of all of the known algorithms with a brief description.

Panda: Targeted content, which is scraped or spun.

Pirate: Targeted unauthorized usage. This is websites that illegally use content such as copy written material, music, images, and video.

Penguin: Targeted unnatural link building, over-optimized anchor text, overused link sources.

Farmer: This was just a supplement of Panda. It targeted websites with the same content. The algorithm exists but it has been absorbed by Panda.

Evolution of Panda + Penguin: Targeted on page over optimization, over optimization of anchors, exact match domains, thin sites, bounce rate.

Disavow: targeted poor quality link sources, bogus blog networks, paid links, junk links, un-natural links.

These algorithms are a good thing for honest businesses and good internet marketing companies. What the algorithms do is get rid of bad link strategies and poorly coded websites. They also penalize the ones that do not play by the rules and are trying to make a quick buck at the expense of the public or corporations.

In retrospect, your website site should have:
1.  Excellent “Code” and working “CSS.”
2.  Excellent content with proper “title tags.”
3.  Clear and consistent message.
4.  Engaging content that keeps people on the website.
5.  Internal linking and anchor tags.
6.  Correct “alt tags” for images.
7.  Proper SEO foundation that is natural and ongoing with respect to traditions and changes in search patterns. SEO is long term and will never be dead as long as there is an online market.

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Rustin Hawver has been part of Vision Interface as Director of Internet Services for two years. His experience goes back to 1997.