Get All Access for $5/mo

What Google's Panda and Penguin Updates Mean for the Future of SEO Three predictions for how search optimization might look in the months ahead.

By AJ Kumar Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

What Googles Panda and Penguin Updates Mean for the Future of SEO

Every time Google rolls out a new algorithm update, article after article is posted online about how the latest changes represent "the end of SEO as we know it." Here's a better newsflash: No matter how many of these articles are written or how many adjustments Google makes, search engine optimization is still alive and well -- and will continue to be.

But just because SEO hasn't been made irrelevant doesn't mean Google's Panda and Penguin updates haven't altered established SEO best practices. Although it's difficult to say what Google's next move will be, there are a few lessons we can draw from Google's latest changes.

Here are my three predictions for how search optimization might look in the months ahead:

1. Overly-optimized sites will continue to be targets.
Based on Google's stated interest in stopping sites that intentionally manipulate the natural search engine results pages (SERPs) from ranking well, it's my expectation that we'll continue to see future algorithm changes designed to punish indicators of over-optimization.

But simply saying "Don't over-optimize your site," isn't realistic, as there's no way to know which specific optimization metrics Google is able to measure and track. It's also not possible to determine where the line between effective on-page SEO and over-optimization will be drawn.

Related: Can Too Much SEO Be a Bad Thing?

For now, the best approach appears to be focusing on the quality of your site in terms of visitor interactions, content value and other on-site elements -- not over employing complex SEO techniques designed to boost rankings.

2. Visitor engagement matters more than ever.
Another factor that I expect to be important in future ranking algorithm updates is the level of visitor engagement occurring on a site. Since Google promotes the sites that its users will find valuable, one might assume that sites that demonstrate high engagement will be rewarded in future updates.

Again, the specific metrics that the Google can detect and track in order to measure visitor engagement aren't immediately apparent. As a general rule, a few of the specific items webmasters should focus on are the presence of customer reviews, article comments and social networking follow-through.

Related: 3 Ways to Stop Losing Traffic from Google's Penguin Update

3. Content quality will grow in importance.
Although Google has made no secret of its desire to reward high-value content with top SERPs rankings, too many webmasters still rely on keyword-optimized or copied-and-pasted content to fill their pages.

Even if your site wasn't affected by the Panda or Penguin updates, you shouldn't assume that you're safe. Google has made every indication that it intends to weed out low value results from the search results. Getting your content quality up now offers one of the best opportunities to protect your site from future changes.

What steps have you taken to make sure your site doesn't suffer from search algorithm updates? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

AJ Kumar

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Digital Maestro

Aj Kumar, the “Digital Maestro,” is the founder of The Limitless Company, a smart content creation engine for your brand. AJ and his team are on a mission to help entrepreneurs in the Creator Economy build for-profit human-healing brands.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

How to Be a Billionaire By 25, According to a College Dropout Turned CEO Worth $1.6 Billion

Austin Russell became the world's youngest self-made billionaire in 2020 at age 25.

Living

Taylor Swift Has a Lucky Number. And She's Not the Only High Performer Who Leans Into Superstitions to Boost Confidence.

Even megastars like Swift need a little extra something to get them in the right mindset when it is game time.

Marketing

SEO Trends You Need to Be Aware of Right Now, According to a Seasoned Pro

Navigate the future of search engine optimization to elevate your online presence and drive meaningful engagement.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Career

These 3 Big Tech Companies Offer 6-Figure Salaries and Easy Interviews — Especially If You Follow This Expert's Advice

There are far more candidates than positions, so being strategic on the job hunt is key.