Social Media Tips – New Google Policies Could Spell Trouble for Websites

writingGoogle has made changes to its Penguin and Panda algorithms aimed at penalizing sites who spam links to inflate their rank in Google search results.

I don’t usually cover search engine optimization (SEO) tips in this column, but as major social media communities and search engines become more closely interconnected, it’s going to become more and more important to keep an eye on what’s going on in the world of search engines in order to keep yourself visible to your current and potential clients. If you have a blog or website (which, as we learned in our recent cover story, can be a good source of relevant content to post to your social media accounts), you’ll need to stay up to date with current search engine policies to make sure that site is living up to its potential as well.

Search Engine Land lays out a summary of the changes happening at Google. The search engine is rolling out changes to its Penguin and Panda algorithms aimed at cutting link spam – links between websites that serve no other purpose than to increase that site’s Google rank. The company has also announced the targeting of another link network with a similar goal.

How to keep your site from being penalized by the changes? Search Engine Watch reports that the key to keeping on Google’s good side is distinguishing between a good link and a bad link. Good links, Search Engine Watch says, act as citations and provide an endorsement of the site to which they link. Bad links don’t provide a real endorsement, and may often be only loosely related to the topic of the web page providing the link. If a website avoids spamming other sites with generic links that don’t provide real value to the reader, it can avoid being penalized.

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