Penguin Changes The Game

Penguins, the only animal that migrates to the sweet sound of Morgan Freeman’s voice, live exclusively in the South Pole. But whether it be on TV, in film, or embroidered on your copywriter’s collared shirt, the whimsical waddlers seem to show up all the time. Following that trend, Google launched its most refined search engine optimization strategy in April. This new strategy is known as, you guessed it, Penguin.

Now that the new system has had time to get its sea legs, opinions are pouring in. If you want your online presence to pop to the top, here’s some food for thought.

Google’s number one priority when they made their latest SEO (search engine optimization) initiative live, was to eliminate spam. This does not mean putting a stop to the online distribution of canned ham (thank God), but rather trying to minimize unwanted, unfiltered traffic. Keywords, it’s safe to say, are key in doing this. However, overloading your site with too many keywords, all bolded and highlighted, could now send a signal to Google that it could be spam. Erin Everhart at Mashable.com offers these tips:

1) Don’t write your content first and then put your keywords in after. It will look unnatural. Have your keywords in mind, and naturally incorporate them as you write. It’s all about flow, baby. Flowww.

2) Title Tags: Still put your most important keyword first in your title tag, but make sure you have your brand name in there, too. I follow this formula: “Main Keyword | Company Name | Secondary Keyword”

But even more fascinating than the quirks and codes of Penguin, is, as always, what the system can tell us about ourselves. One of the greatest takeaways from Everhart’s tutorial is that you will never be penalized for working too hard. In other words, lots of content, particularly lots of good content, will always help your visibility on search engines. If you blog once a day, start blogging twice a day. If you find doing press releases tedious and futile, quit whining and start doing press releases, ya big baby. If uploading one picture a day is too much work, start doing too much work. The internet is an active place. There is no room for the sedentary.

Penguin is not going to revolutionize the way we search for good Chinese food in Liberty Village, for example. But it is making waves. Get an extra like on Facebook? A retweet or three? It may seem trivial or minimal, but “like” it or not, this is what online relevance and influence has come down to. Ask someone with an enviable number of followers on Twitter, and they will likely tell you two things: “I tweet all the time,” and “I guess I’m funny.”

Simple, but not not easy. The same goes for blogging, advertising, and writing in general: Do more, and make it better.

Whether they realize it or not, Google is teaching the world how to be more search-engine efficient, one optimization at a time. That sounds like the tag line for a Schwarzenegger movie made in Silicone Valley, but really, it’s a lesson in media management. Boost your quantity, boost the quality, and never, ever cheat.

  • Venegrent Talcome

    Whatever happened to “less is more” when it comes to writing. Figuring out algorithms seems like a thankless (and impossible) task. Google constantly keeps changing them to get the upper hand and stay in control. Penguin is just the latest push in the power struggle. I say, just do good work, write good stuff, and the people will come.

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