Your SEO strategies for 2013 should be tailored to sync with Google’s frequently changing search engine algorithms and webmaster guidelines.
Your SEO efforts should not only comply with Bing and Yahoo webmaster guidelines, but also strong and authentic enough to sustain during 2013 and beyond. May be for next 10 to 15 yrs.
In an efforts to serve the best possible user experience to web-surfers, Google surprised webmasters in 2012, and will continue to do in 2013 also. It integrated Panda algorithm with its regular ranking factors – Now everyday is a Panda day. Isn’t it a difficult time for webmasters, with such a giant panda sitting on your shoulder for 24 x 7. 10 years back, webmasters wouldn’t have buying exact match domain names merrily, if they were aware of Google’s EMD Penalty.
Just like Panda and EMD penalty rocked the entire 2012, Penguin will rule the year 2013. Along with Penguin updates, one more hurdle you are going to face is – Over optimization Penalty.
Google’s over optimization penalty is over due since late 2011. With some hints from Google’s Matt Cutts webmasters were expecting it in 2012 also. Finally, Google released a major algorithm update called Penguin to fight link-spam, and suppressed all the speculation about OOP (Over Optimization Penalty).
Over Optimization Penalty
No search engines like to display search results on the 1st page which are written for search engine. Optimized for search engine bot for 1st page ranking. Web pages with less information and more tricks (cheap) to increase page views.
Everybody knows how much Google hates web pages with keyword stuffing. Gone are the days, when keyword dense pages were showing on the first page of Google. But there are still lots of keyword stuffing going-on on different parts of a web page apart from the main body. And Google is still showing these results on front pages.
Do a Google search for the phrase ‘make money’ and see the 4th result on the 1st page. How the title tag, meta description is stuffed with words like – make money, earn money, making money…
Always remember, these types of pages never offer value to the readers, and most often fraudulent in nature.
1. Title Tag
Search engines give quite a lot of weighted to words in the title tag while ranking web content on SERPs. What is the value of a title which doesn’t make any sense, and over optimized with keywords to tricks the search engines.
There are plenty of web pages with keyword stuffed title are still showing on the first page of Google proudly. Don’t think they have tricked the search engines by stuffing keywords only. Who knows, how many backlinks they must have gathered unethically.
Not every web-readers reads the URLs before clicking on the search results. Although it’s less visible to readers comparative to the title tag; search engines still give some weighted to the words in the URL while ranking web-pages.
Google also makes the searched keywords in the URL prominent. Since late Feb 2013, Google has been making the search keywords in the Green URL even more bolder and bigger. It shows how much importance it gives to URL.
Over optimization of URL to trick Google is not going to work in 2013 and beyond. Make your URL clean and meaningful.
3. Meta Description
These 2 lines of snippets are the most abused or over optimized part of plenty of web pages and content. Webmasters never hesitate to stuff this 180 characters long 2 lines with their favorite keywords.
After title tag, the most visible part on SERPs is meta description. A web searcher judges about a page by simply reading the meta description. What would be the quality of the article, if the meta description is so spammy?
My top SEO tips for 2013 is to make your meta description informative without any cluttering or repeating keywords.
4. Anchor text
Anchor text over optimization is quite common among guest blogging lovers. They love to use the same anchor texts for every backlinks they make via guest blogging.
Here I’m not talking about the exact keyword stuffing of anchor texts on every links. Because nobody stuff anchor texts for SEO benefits. As, one word or five words (repeated) pass the same link juice via anchor text from a single backlink.
I’m talking about the “exact match keywords as anchor texts.” Google has already started penalizing over optimization of anchor texts via Penguin Updates, and it will be more severe or lethal in year 2013. My simple advice is – Diversify Anchor Texts.
If you really want to rank on the first page of Google – Make your content informative and offer value to your readers, make your social media presence (signal) better and be authoritative.