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Google's Busy Year - 2012 SEO Review

December 31, 2012

If you haven’t taken a good, long look at your SEO efforts in 2012 (search engine optimization) it’s time to get on it. With Google making changes to the algorithm every month, SEO is a constant and quickly changing field, and unless you have the time to follow the research and read the SEO White Papers every morning, you’ll want to have an experienced healthcare marketing team of SEO’s working on your site.


From Penguin to Panda and every update in between, only the best, most dedicated SEO’s have the evolving knowledge needed to keep up with this changing field. Techniques and strategies that may have worked only a few months ago probably won’t work today, and might even be detrimental to your web presence.


At Quaintise, we follow the algorithm changes, strictly adhering to Google’s White Hat SEO techniques. We implement the necessary changes as Google rolls out new updates, make absolutely sure that every strategy we use is consistent with Google’s guidelines, and is relevant to current SEO best practices.


A lot has happened in 2012 in terms of SEO! Take a look:


‘Google Got Teeth’

Black Hat vs White Hat SEO strategies, in healthcare marketing and every other industry, have always been a sore subject for every SEO. Simply speaking, Black Hat SEO techniques are those that Google has repeatedly pronounced as unethical. White Hat SEO techniques are those that Google has praised and has verbally recommended. Although this has always been the case, Google has never done a great deal to combat Black Hat SEO techniques, and those strategies have worked well to improve healthcare marketing rankings over the years.


In 2012, ‘Google got teeth,’ as Search Engine Land states, as it went after all and any website implementing Black Hat SEO strategies, particularly poor content, duplicate content, link farms, and many more ‘webspam’ techniques.


Penguin Update

On April 24, Google rolled out a ‘webspam update,’ which has come to be known as Penguin. This update impacted an estimated 3.1% of all English queries on Google. The Penguin update was specifically designed to penalize websites participating in “automatically generated content, link schemes, cloaking, sneaky redirects, hidden text or links, scraped content, keyword stuffing, and user-generated spam.”


If, at any point during a website’s existence, the webmaster committed any of the Black Hat strategies listed above, the site was flagged and in many, many cases was dropped from rankings, loosing great amounts of traffic and money. The impact was enormous.


There have been many, many updates to Penguin throughout 2012, aimed at improving search results for Google users, limiting the amount of scammy, irrelevant sits that appear in search results.


Panda Update

The Panda update actually occurred at the end of 2011, but it’s impact was truly felt throughout 2012 when many additional Panda updates hit the algorithm. According to SEOMoz, Google has updated Panda over 13 times in the past year since it’s launch.


The Panda update was created to specifically target sites using poor content, duplicate content, keyword stuffing, scraped content, or any other Black Hat technique associated with content creation. This update not only penalized sites using these Black Hat strategies, it simultaneously improved rankings for sites using quality content.


Quaintise particularly enjoyed this Panda update for our healthcare marketing clients, specifically because it rewarded those site who implemented quality content strategies, as the team at Quaintise has always done.


Additional Google Updates

While the Panda and Penguin updates have had the greatest impact on the overall outcome of searches on the web, Google has made many more updates throughout 2012, including:


• Exact Match Domains – Penalizing low-quality websites that happen to have keyword-matching domain names.

• Ads Above the Fold – Websites with too many ads placed above the fold have been flagged by Google.

• Pirate – A DMCA takedown request is something that Google has become more active in due to some Hollywood complaints. Basically, if a website is unlawful or scammy, anyone can report them. If the site is reported frequently, Google will penalize that site.

• JavaScript – Google has been known to have trouble crawling sites with AJAX and/or JavaScript programming code. In 2012, Google’s spiders found a way to crawl this programming language.


And there have been more, and probably many Google updates that we just don’t know about. Every update that Google makes to it’s algorithm is with the sole purpose of improving the user experience, give each Google visitor the best results based on their keyword searches.


In 2013, if you’re looking for a healthcare marketing agency with the experience and knowledge to grapple these multiple Google updates, and the many more to come in 2013, look no further.


About Quaintise

Quaintise has successfully implemented content marketing, social media marketing, and White Hat SEO strategies for clients in the healthcare and medical industries, including increased rankings and traffic for Family Practice Specialists, increased brand awareness for Arizona OBGYN Affiliates, and increased social media presence for CORD:USE Cord Blood Banking. Specifically for Family Practice Specialists, Quaintise has implemented a strict content strategy that includes quality content updates upon, consistent social media updates, as well as building a local presence through local listings and reputation management.


Visit our LA QDigital location at 10100 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 300, Los Angeles, California 90067, (310) 736-1752 or our main headquarters in Scottsdale at7150 E. Camelback Road, Suite 444, Scottsdale, Arizona, 85251, (602) 910-4112.