On 22nd May 2013, the highly anticipated Penguin 2.0 algorithm update was rolled out by Google, in a bid to target ‘web spam’. This has affected 2.3% of all English search queries and has now been completed for languages world-wide.
If you’ve seen a traffic drop in the last week, it is likely to be associated with this algorithm change. The following ‘black hat’ techniques were the main focus of Penguin 2.0 on its mission to improve the search experience:
Link spam: The overuse of keyword anchor text and unnatural link profiles have been a major target – link building is no longer a ‘quick fix’. A step towards quality content creation, compelling social media and genuine online relationships are needed to support a post-penguin 2.0 strategy. Remember: it’s quality, over quantity!
Poor content: Keyword stuffing, duplicate copy and multiple landing pages are all key indicators of poor content and an out-of-date approach. Google’s algorithm has become much more sophisticated and classic ‘SEO copy’ is a red flag.
User experience should be considered above all else. This means design and content should not be compromised for over-optimisation. Google wants to serve informative, attractive and well-structured websites to users, so SEO strategies need to bridge the gap between technical optimisation and an engaging web experience.
It’s clear that this latest update has had a global affect, but how does it compare to Google’s previous algorithm changes? Moz has developed a very helpful chart that displays the effect of Penguin 2.0, in comparison to Google’s previous algorithm and data refreshes in 2013.
Although Penguin 2.0 has undoubtedly touched many sites, it has not had the impact of its predecessor – Penguin 1.0. Despite this, from what Cutts has said about The Future of SEO, it’s clear that this will not be the last update to target web spam. This means future proofing your approach is very important!
If you’d like to talk to us about how Penguin 2.0 has affected your site, please leave us a comment below, or get in touch on 020 7087 1284.
Flat Design. By name, it doesn’t sound particularly inspiring, however, it’s a design trend and route we think is creating some of the most bold and beautiful sites around.
Along with Flat design, we’ve taken two more of our favourite design trends in 2013 which we think have legs to become graphic design cult-classics. Here’s a run-down of what they are, and some of the best examples out there:
FLAT & FABULOUS
Flat design is about creating minimalist websites that look flat and clean with a major emphasis on usability and effectiveness, making the most important details stand out with the use of white space and colour. A flat design will draw attention to clean crisp edges and make details stand out with the use of a structured grid based design to make it easy for the user to find what they are looking for.
Here is a flat beauty for you to feast your eyes on:
Parallax scrolling allows the user to scroll through a site up and down, left and right. Parallax provides the design opportunity to add layers of design elements which build to tell a complete story. By layering images over each other and having one move slower or faster when you scroll you are able to create dynamic and incredible visuals.
Have a look at this mind-blowing example from Nike:
RESPONSIVE (BUT, DONE WELL)
Responsive Design is a design which adapts to the dimensions of your screen. So whether you are viewing a site on desktop, tablet or phone you should have a seemless and fluid design experience. If your web design agency are not designing your site responsively then there’s something wrong – we believe a responsive design should come as standard. Responsive design does not just mean re-purposing desktop design by simply minimising it. We believe a responsive design ‘done well’ is one which prioritises content by device and serves design elements to the user which complement the screen they are viewing on to deliver a fantastic experience across all platforms.
Here’s one of the best examples we’ve found: