Launched on April 24 and updated several times since, Google’s Penguin Update is the search engine giant’s latest attempt to improve its users’ internet experience. It has far-reaching consequences for tourism industry websites in the
Penguin is a sign that the search engine and social media giant is putting web surfers’ opinions ahead of the mechanical results generated by its algorithms. This has become possible thanks to the rise of social media. For tourist businesses in the Canary Islands Google Penguin is a game-changer.
Search engine optimization (SEO) used to be all about article length, keyword density, backlinks, link text, etc. Websites and their content were optimized to make them ideal for search engine spiders. The problem of course is that the internet is used by people rather than software. A lot of optimized websites appealed to the robots but not to the users. Google, which still dominates 70% of the search market, realizes this and wants its search results to be full of websites designed for people rather than machines.
The Penguin message is simple: Put humans first!
Create a content rich website that is useful, relevant and INTERESTING to the people you want to attract and sell to. User experience is key to the future of SEO and ranking success. The more satisfying the content on a website, the more likely it is to generate new clients.
Advice for the Post-Penguin Internet
If you are paying for links stop now: They are unlikely to yield any further benefit. Undeserved links are fast becoming a lead weight that threatens to drag your website down to search ranking oblivion. Quality link building is a consequence of actual relationships. Identify the key websites in your niche and contribute actively to their website, blog, Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Links are still excellent indicators of quality provided they are organic. Google has become very good at detecting paid links. Link farms that generate links automatically are now taboo.
After Penguin all SEO tricks and techniques play second fiddle to quality content and end-user experience. Tourist websites cater to people looking for information about potential destinations, activities and accommodation. They want relevant local information that is useful and memorable.
Tourist industry websites sell dreams and dreams are highly visual: Images and short videos are essential for success. Build your website and your social media presence around high-quality images and videos. They have an instant impact and are highly shareable. Remember that without descriptions and tags images are invisible to the search engines.
Social signals are key to post-Penguin success. Share your blog and website updates on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+, and display social network buttons on your website and blog.
Work on lowering your bounce rate. This is the measure of how many people land on your website and leave immediately. Google correctly takes a high bounce rate as a sign that your website is not relevant to web searchers.
Embed your blog into your main website and update it regularly. This creates fresh content on your website. Regular updates or fresh content are rewarded by Google and bring your audience back to your website.
Google’s Penguin update is a positive change that allows tourist-industry websites to market directly to their target audience rather than have to cater to search engine robots and software. Attractive websites that provide potential clients with what they are looking for are the way forward.