Panda and Penguin updates hit over the past year and most people are still scratching their heads from it. Makes sense, after many took a big hit from their Google rankings you almost become scared to make any drastic changes.
Lets take a step backwards and actually look at what Google did with each of these updates. After Panda was launched in April, 2011… Google targeted link farms or websites with a lot of spam type content. Meaning, there are many websites that are built for the sole purpose to build backlinks and these sites helped other website rank higher on Google. The problem is, many sites that weren’t link farms got hit as well. These are the people that are hurting the most. There are many theories on what can “fix” the Panda update changes, but we don’t have to worry about them right now.
In April of this year, Penguin was launched and its target was over-optimized websites. This means there are many websites that try extra hard to get ranked for specific keywords. For example, a website that is trying to rank for “Send Flowers” could place that keyword in their website too many times, or have many backlinks with that keyword as the anchor text. Basically going overboard to try to rank for that specific keyword.
A great example of someone doing the right thing on Google is AskTheBuilder.com. Tim has a great site that was doing very well on the Internet and never did anything wrong when it came to his online marketing, but his website traffic went from 1.8 million unique monthly visitors to barely getting 450,000 per month, which is roughly a 75% decrease in traffic and of course revenue.
So now what? You have some more information on what went wrong, you have an example and maybe your website got hit from Google. So now what is the next step? The next step is to do what you should have been doing from day 1. Create quality content, optimize your website without going overboard, push social media and let natural backlinks build on their own. Of course there are ways to do some content marketing and other techniques to help the cause, but in the end if you let it happen naturally and understand that it will take time to be successful at ranking on Google, then you will always be ahead of the game. The key here is that you are in business for the long-haul, not for the next 6 months.
When I work with my clients, I try to make them understand that you have to be consistent with your marketing, you have to create quality content that is engaging and you need to be patient. You will be amazed at the success you can have if you do all of these things.
If you have a website that hasn’t been hit by these updates then its best to continue the path that I have mentioned and you should be in a good position moving forward. If you are someone who was hit by these updates and you need to fix the problem, then here are 3 ways to help.
Strategy 1 – If you have used a backlink building service and these backlinks have hurt your website then you need to try to get these backlinks removed. This is very hard to do because most of the sites will not respond to you and you cannot manually remove them.
If you have built backlinks that you do have access to, then its in your best interest to get them removed.
Either way, you need to build better backlinks that outweigh the bad ones. This will take time, but again, you need to be in this for the long-haul. So it is best to start now and be consistent and you will eventually start to see positive results.
If you want to contact Google and tell them that they made a mistake with your website, you can fill out this form:
Strategy 2: There are multiple parts to this step because it is all about creating a quality website with quality content that is engaging that people want to share.
- Only write original and quality content. If you want to copy an article or write about one, then make sure you give credit.
- Only allow natural backlinks to be created. It doesn’t matter what site they are from, as long as it is natural. Backlinks can be dofollow and nofollow, it is ok… just remember it has to look natural. Only dofollow links does not look natural.
- Do not go crazy with the optimization of your website. Do not take your keyword and place it all over a webpage. Maximum times it should be present on a webpage is 2-4 times per hundred words.
- Social media means more today than every before. The more followers you have on your social media sites the better. You want people sharing content, liking content and overall talking about you. You need to build your brand.
Strategy 3: My recommendation is to move your website to WordPress if it’s feasible. This would greatly improve your rankings. WordPress is not integrated into Google and trust me you get better rankings just by having your website on WordPress. I have proved this so many times, plus it is also much easier to optimize a WordPress website.
There is more to being successful online, another article that can help is why video marketing is important