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Pandas, Penguins and Hummingbirds, Oh My!

How to create new leads and amp visibility in a B-to-B market

August 6, 2014 By Jonathan Searle
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Recently I was asked: "What methods, besides paid traffic, would increase new leads and visibility in the B-to-B market?"

This great question opens up the door to a conversation about Google's newest cast of characters. (Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird) in the last few years.

Let's review what each of these changes brought and where business marketers' focus should be to score the elusive front page rankings of Google on the terms that matter to you.

Panda
In February 2011, Google introduced Panda. "The sky is falling, the sky is falling ..." and many more exclamations could be heard on the internet marketing forums. Many blamed the update for taking away rankings, traffic and even livelihood. Why was Panda needed and what goal was it put in motion to accomplish?

First, Panda affects the ranking of the entire website or a specific section, rather than just a single page. Why is this so critical? That leads to the next reason: Second, Panda focused on sites with "thin content." These were sites that were created to basically game or manipulate the search results to the site's creator.

The combination of both of these two factors resulted in many "doorway" or exact-match-type domains, content and pages to be devalued and taken off the front search engine results page. We can all say, "Thank You," now that we are seeing less of the cookie cutter spam pages on the first page of results. 

Panda just celebrated version 4.0 in May of 2014, so it's here to stay.

At this point, we start to see changes happening to the overall strategies in place. Take our little friend Panda and then bring his cousin to the party.

Penguin
In April 2012, Google brought Penguin to the party to rock hard. This was a link strategist's worst nightmare—for years many in search were focused on 3 areas: 

  1. Link building
  2. Building more links
  3. "How many links do our competitors have? Let's do 1 million more than them to WIN ..."

As you can see, there were too many ways to continue to manipulate, and not enough focus on the value of the source and link or recommendation. Penguin affects the link "types," seeing if there are too many keyword anchor texts containing the same keywords and terms. To sum it up, Google was looking for people trying to over-optimize content, websites and anything else you may be trying to gain rank. Penguin 5.0 just rolled out in October 2013. Notice a trend here? These friends are here to play for awhile.

 

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