Caution Penguin’s Ahead
Google’s latest algorithm update has a lot of people worried about their placement in search results. Is Google’s Penguin update something you should be worried about for your medical practice website?
While it is easy to understand Google from a user’s perspective, not a lot of people can fully grasp how the search engine works behind the scenes. Typing in a question and pressing search is easy enough, but the gears behind Google are constantly changing, which makes keeping up with the search engine a complicated task.
Google uses algorithms to find the most relevant and sought after results for every search query. The World Wide Web changes constantly. New information is being added and withdrawn every second. It is entirely possible that while you are posting one piece of breaking news, someone else is already posting an update that makes your news irrelevant.
This is never truer than it is for those trying to figure out the Google algorithms. You may think you have cracked the code, but Google is ready with a new algorithm to make you start all over again.
That is why there is such a fuss about the Penguin update. Penguin is a pet name that Google gave to the newest algorithm adjustment. While you may find it hard to get angry at a small waddling penguin, this algorithm update has upset a lot of people and erased a lot of websites from the top of Google’s search results.
However, what is bad news for some is great news for others. As long as you play by the rules the algorithm sets forth you can position yourself to become even stronger in the search results.
One of the biggest changes that the penguin update initiated concerns bad links, a trend that Google politely phrases as ‘unnatural optimization.’
When another webpage links back to your website, Google takes that to mean someone has read your content, found it useful and recommends for others to see it too. When a lot of people start linking to your website, Google is more inclined to push you to the top of the search results concerning the topic that people are linking about. This is called link building.
If the internet is a big city, the links are the streets that guide people from building to building. Without streets, finding your way around would be really confusing.
Certain internet marketing companies picked up on this trend and instead of using the links as Google interpreted them, they tried to cheat the algorithm by selling links to websites. These companies build webpages with minimal, poor quality content and put links everywhere. They will link back to your website for a price, and in the past this has allowed websites to jump to the top of the results pages where they may not have belonged.
These links are considered unnatural because they are not pointing to a legitimate source. Purchasing links this way is kind of like buying an award. Sure you have the gold medal, but everyone knows you didn’t earn it.
Google picked up on this and the search engine decided to ‘level the playing field’ by penalizing companies with bad links.
Penguin Update: Good or Bad?
Enter Penguin. The new algorithm now evaluates quality links pointing back to your website. Companies that sold false links in the past and put up content without any quality took a big hit. However, those of us who focused on strong and relevant content creation and reliable links are able to move up in the rankings, pushing those false and untrustworthy link-buying websites out of the way.
Like any other type of program, Google’s algorithms have loop holes. With every update they release Google is closing the gap in loopholes, making it harder for companies to reach the top if they don’t deserve that placement.
Being in the top spot on Google results takes more than links. Google uses a comprehensive approach to evaluate the information in its database. Factors like location, events, popularity and authority on a subject all play a role in how you shape up. This means that cheap (or not so cheap) tricks that may have bought placement in the past are not going to work anymore.
What does the Penguin update mean to your medical practice website?
Now more than ever, your website needs to be an authority on the medical services you are providing. You can do this by adding more content to your website either through pages or blog articles. By building quality link relationships with outside websites that point to you as an authority you can build better placement without reaching for false promotions.
Treat your website as a portal of information that guides potential patients to your services and Google’s algorithm changes are going to help, not hurt you.