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Keeping Up with Google Algorithms

Google Algorithms

Sometimes, it's hard to tell whether you're on a field trip to the zoo or studying up on Google's algorithm changes. Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird, Pigeon – and even a Pirate to come in and clean up after everyone. The algorithms are continually changing as Google learns what real people want to see and figures out how to give it to them. If you want to keep your casino's website at the top of the search results and in front of your guests' eyes, you have to know what Google wants to see. 

The Good

The best news to come from Google is that trying to game the system is old and busted. Don't forget that Google is a business, and they have customers too. Their customers are the everyday people that are using Google to find answers, and they are not happy when they feel like they've been duped and sent to a spam-like or otherwise untrustworthy site. Google wants outstanding websites that give their customers what they came to Google to find. All you have to do is be outstanding.

The (Not so) Bad

Just be outstanding. It might be simple, but it's a bit of a tall order – especially if you're not sure what “outstanding” means to Google. The SEO experts over at Moz scoured the web for every possible mention of recent Google updates and came up with a long list of things you should be doing to make the most of your site. Here's the top three:

1.   Make sure visitors are doing what they came for. In other words, show Google that you solved the visitor's problem. If the page they landed on is a sign-up page for your players club, you want them to sign up. If it's upcoming promotions, you want them to stick around long enough to read them. If it's a hotel reservations’ page, you want them to book a room or request more information.

2.   Gain some recognition. Google may be a company made up of people, but the algorithms are just computer programs. The only way for the programs to know whether you're a quality site is to check around and see if anyone else is talking about you. Whether this is on Facebook, review sites like Yelp, or other websites mentioning you, recognition from around the web shows Google that you're legit.

3.   Show that you're a real business. Google wants to see that you're a reputable business, and it will check all of your web pages to see if you're reassuring your visitors that you're real. You should have your address and contact information on every page and all the information must be correct. This isn't usually a problem for casinos, of course, because this helps your players, too.

The Ugly

One thing that the experts seem to agree on is that overstuffing any pages, article, and blogs with keywords is a big no-no. So is trying to spread them out by creating bunches of pages all centered around one keyword. Here are a few more things you'll want to avoid:

1.   Sacrificing quality for SEO. Marketing experts all recommend that adding new content on a regular basis is a good thing – but only if that content is high quality. Slapping up a lot of hastily-created blog posts won't do you any favors and might make you look like spam.

2.   Ignoring your regular website pages. You might not think that your “About Us” page or other static pages are that important, however the experts say otherwise. Spelling errors, bad links, and other errors all signal a poor-quality site. Google doesn't want to send its customers to a poor site when there's plenty of others to choose from.

3.   Overdoing the advertisements. Ads may generate income for you and help make your website more profitable, but they cut into the user experience. Let's face it: nobody likes being interrupted with a bunch of ads. A few well-placed ads are still ok, but don't let them get in the way of the content.

Quality is King

If there's one way to summarize all the Google algorithm updates into one sentence, it is “quality is king.” If you're doing anything to your website that isn't focused on giving readers and visitors an excellent experience, you're wasting your time. On the other hand, this makes it a bit easier to figure out what you should be doing without consulting a dozen manuals on SEO secrets. Just make your customers happy – something casino owners are already doing well.

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