2012 Search Engine Optimization Guide for the New Google Algorithm

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If you’re in-the-know about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), then you’ve heard all the latest buzz about the latest Google algorithm changes, Google Penguin.

To all but the best SEO firms out there, this may not mean a lot, but we happen to keep a close watch on the SEO world. Many websites out there were hit hard with these last rounds of changes, and website owners should do everything they can to make sure their rankings do not suffer. At Purely Branded, we have always focused on creating high-quality, relevant content, and have never use any blackhat techniques like keyword stuffing, link-building scams, SEO scams, etc. We wanted to ensure our clients benefit from the Google changes; this is certainly a case of “what you might not know MAY hurt you.”

So what should I know about the Google algorithm changes?

  • Many large link networks were taken down
  • Beware of (un)intentional duplicate page content
  • Focus on quality, relevant content
  • Keep tabs on ads above the fold
  • Social impact is paramount

How should I improve my SEO?

1. Start at the beginning

Nothing else matters if you begin with invalid HTML and CSS. SO DON’T!! Optimize your code, separate content from layout, keep your navigation clean and simple. Use links correctly, and make sure to implement hierarchical information architecture.

2. Create valuable content, don’t try to trick the search engine

If you’re already familiar with this concept, than you’ll be happy to learn that it’s more relevant than ever. There is no reason to use spam or blackhat SEO techniques. Simply create quality content, and the search engines will reward you for it. While there are ways to temporarily fool the search engines, they are never the pillars of a successful, long-term SEO strategy. Although it may require more work, acquiring high SERP (Search Engine Result Pages) ranking the right way, will serve your company for years to come. Think of it as an SEO annuity.

3. Continue to improve your website

In the words of Bruce Lee “Be like water.” The landscape of the web is constantly changing, and you must learn and adapt. Build a mobile website, or consider alternative resolutions in your building process and utilize responsive web design. Utilize HTML5, CSS3 and the various Javascript libraries out there to clean up your code. Stick to your guns for too long, or continue to “do things like you’ve always done them” and you may find your website looking like it was built on an Apple IIe.

4. Search is going social

Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and other Social Networking platforms out there, are being indexed and prioritized in an increasing fashion. Use this to your advantage. Build and grow an impressive social following, disseminate content socially, use video to increase awareness. The tools are out there for you to use. Plan and create a strategy and then focus your efforts on consistent implementation.

5. Build links the right way

There are plenty of perfectly good link building techniques you can utilize. Connect with your peers, educate and influence. Create a network and help each other by cross-pollinating content.

6. Check your content’s expiration date

How old is your content? Have you ever looked through your refrigerator and thought….I can’t believe this stuff is still here? Well, that’s what search engines think when they come to your site and see that the freshest content you’ve got is from 3 years ago. A stagnant website quickly becomes irrelevant and therefore less valuable. Since search engines want to serve what they consider to be the most relevant results for the requested keyword or phrase, you must convince them that yours is the website they should choose. You can do this by constantly updating your content.

7. Track and respond

Is it working? A lot of work goes into optimizing a website, but how do you know if it’s working? Track everything you do. There are many tools out there to help you with this task, and you must use them. Track your traffic, rankings for various keywords and phrases, as well as the success of any specific landing pages, etc. While any SEO strategy may work at a given point in time, you must look at your analytics and respond. Keep what works, and implement new strategies when necessary.


There are no shortcuts to achieving long-term SEO success. At Purely Branded, we’ve developed and optimized a strategy that has produced results for our clients, year in and year out. Instead of applying a quick fix or a band-aid, we believe that implementing purposeful, long-term plan is the best strategy.

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