Image representing Matt Cutts as depicted in C...

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This is Part 2 in a two part series with the last 4 out of 8 SEO tips for 2013 directly from Google’s Matt Cutts.

5. Google’s Peace Keepers: Panda and Penguin Algorithm

Google Panda is an algorithm update launched by Google in mid-2012 to lower the rank of low-quality websites such as ones full of ads or thin and poor content with irrelevant backlinks. Their Google Penguin algorithm update penalizes those websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines or performed an SEO tactic deemed “unfair” by Google. What came to light, however, was that Google refreshes Panda data around ten times per month and the first version of Penguin brought down whole websites, but the next version will be able to penalize specific web pages as opposed to a whole website. Kind of like a smart bomb. In other words, the new Penguin can penalize at a page level, so only inappropriate web pages are penalized.

6. Penalty by Google

Google updates its algorithm almost 500 times per year with over 200 ranking signals without mentioning anything official to webmasters. It is when you receive a notification in your Google Webmaster Tools saying they have taken manual operations against your website that you know they have performed an update. They don’t provide specific information on which web pages have been flagged or penalized , but they show you “example URLs” as a hint to help you figure out the problem. Once a website is penalized and disappears from the Google search results, each individual case penalty has a different expiry period. However, if the site is so flawed (by Google’s standards) that Google considers it as irreparable, the penalty lasts until the domain of the website expires. The penalty will be imposed again if the new owner violates the rule.

7. Bounce Rate Does Not Matter

Google doesn’t consider bounce rate as one of the ranking signals. However, you still should care about it because user behaviour usually reflects the quality of a site.

8. Website Design and User Experience

Google is now emphasizing site design and user experience in their ranking algorithm. (We are not sure how they are measuring this.)

Google is always updating their algorithms and criteria for search engine rankings so it difficult to be completely on top of the dos and don’ts that will make Google happy all the time. However, these SEO tips from Matt Cutts will definitely help your online marketing strategy for the next little while.

iRISEmedia is a Digital Media Company specializing in Internet Marketing, Social Media marketing and SEO. We service companies in Toronto, Ontario as well as throughout Canada and globally.

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