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If search engine optimization (SEO) had one rule, it would be that the rules can change at any moment. And Google's newest algorithm changes—Panda and Penguin—have thrown many SEO programs for a loop.
"Countless discussions are taking place regarding how to get rid of the penalties imposed by the '2Ps' or how to avoid getting sucked in when the next wave of these algorithms hit the shore," writes Manoj Aravindakshan at the MarketingProfs Daily Fix blog.
So how can you protect yourself from Google's algorithm riptide? Aravindakshan offers this advice.
1. Be fresh
Update your content whenever possible. You might revise a list of tips, for instance, or add new information to an evolving story. "Make sure the contextual content around the main content—such as headlines and blurbs of newer articles related to the topic—get refreshed," notes Aravindakshan.
2. Be original
Create a steady stream of content that gives readers real insight. Your content doesn't have to be brand new. You can repurpose a whitepaper as a series of articles, or convert a PowerPoint presentation to a blog post. And there's nothing wrong with creative sourcing. Invite an industry expert to guest blog, or ask members of your C-suite to host a YouTube video.
3. Be comprehensive
Are you giving the same superficial advice anyone could get anywhere? Go deeper. And err on the side of providing too much information. If your in-depth article becomes a popular reference source, you'll get more links, which will boost organic traffic and—you guessed it—produce even more inbound links and traffic.
4. Be authoritative
Don't expect credit as an authority if you don't produce authoritative content. Establishing your credibility takes time, perseverance, and knowledge. Another way to enhance your authority is via contributions from well-known experts. "Employ their authority to boost your website's quality and to improve its search engine visibility," advises Aravindakshan.
5. Be local
Where customers search from matters as much as what they search for. If they're in, say, Boston, Google will skew its results to Bostonian businesses. And that is why you should include appropriate geo-signals in your content.