Google is the main source of traffic for all the blogs who do it on SEO basis and when they go down on google it really hurts. Google recently came with the Penguin Update and former Panda update as well which brought tremors in the blogging campaign of many. What can you do to stay tension free on ever being hit? The answer is simple and basic which will uncover and enlighten once again so that you remember it. Google wants its users to get the best answer to their query and it brings about updates just to do that.
Sometimes many good sites do get hit because they program the updates and it is not a manual thing, if you are hit by the update and feel you shouldn’t have then you can always contact them stating your thoughts on why your blog shouldn’t have been hit. And as Matt Cutts, added in his recent tweet, they are reading every single complains:
One thing which is very clear with recent Google Penguin algo change, i.e: SEO is not dead but black hat SEO is about to die. But, in the SEO war between White, grey and black hat, many bloggers like you and me are losing traffic and many of us are clueless about what are the best way to recover from Penguin update.
Once your site is penalized by any of the algo changes, it’s going to be time-consuming process for you to fix it, as you have to start from the steps of Panda recovery and make changes by following other signals which Google has given in the past. Ex: Page speed, Ad page layout algo, getting rid of un-natural links, working on SEO structure of your site and so on. In short, you will be doing a complete site SEO audit and making major changes from content to design, what ever is necessary.
- Read: Post Panda SEO Survival Guide for Bloggers
Now back to our topic under discussion, hmm.. let’s go straight to the points and things you can do. These are all going to be basic things that you would have heard all along but still many forget it, so i thought of reviving it .
How you can make Google Penguin love your sites:
There is no speculation, how long Google is going to keep upcoming updates as Google Penguin change. But, until that time and even in future, we need to take care of many things. Specially, newbie bloggers who just started, they end up making mistakes like selling links, selling post, using automated tools to generate backlinks and so on. All these methods, should be avoided and you should work more on increasing the quality of your site.
I highly recommend you to keep an eye on official Google Inside search blog, where Google is posting list of SEO changes every month. This will give you an idea about best practices and changes which you should make to avoid any penalty in future.
Never Have Hidden Links:
The main thing Google expects from you is to show them what you are going to show the users and nothing different for them. Once Google finds out that you are doing some malpractice it is surely going to give you pain rather it be an update or the other process.
Hidden links are the links which are not shown or shown smaller to users than normal so that they don’t get their eyes on the links. This should be avoided at all cost.
Never Overdo Keywords:
Write posts as if you are writing it normally for a reader to understand and not to make bots happy by using the keywords. Generally over usage of keywords results in heavy drop in SERP rankings , Google is smart to know in what way the keywords were used. Even if you have low keyword density , don’t worry and make a fuss of it rather try to add a little keywords and move on.
There is no thumb rule for Keyword density, but I suggest to keep it around 1.5-2% and also use LSI words, to make your post more meaningful. See, what Google has to say about Keyword density:
Never try to copy the content and post it on your blog, it is not going to make Google happier. Honesty is something which in general is appreciated and in blogging arena even more. Be creative and write what you can and do not just copy paste articles.
Agreed that there are not much topics left and they would have been covered on one site or the other but always try to tweak it and write it in a different possible way which will never let Google know that you have even got smallest of idea from some other sites.
Double Check While Getting Guest Posts/Outsourced Articles:
A man can only be 100% sure on his work and not on others. When you are accepting Guest posts or outsourced articles you need to check twice before you have published it. There is always a possibility something wrong might be done with the article and given straight to you intentionally or unintentionally but still it is your responsibility to check and post.
One major issues which I have noticed with guest posting these days, most of internet marketer is jumping to guest blogging from article directory for link building. And blogs allowing guest posting, they don’t care about which site they are linking to. Always keep in your mind when linking out to a domain in a guest post:
- Is that outbound domain/niche relevant to article
- Is linking out domain relevant to your domain niche
If not, you should think twice as you might not realize, you are turning your blog into article directory.
Have Correct Linking Strategy:
One of the major reason sites are penalized with Google penguin, because of using un-natural link building techniques. There are hundreds or may be thousands of services which buy and sell links, and if you have used any of them like (BuildmyRank), your chances of getting penalized is high.
In urge to get traffic, people do a little more than what they should do in SEO it can either be over doing of Keywords or adopting an improper linking strategy. Black Hat Link building technique may now be a little bigger concern with the Google Penguin and it is always recommended that you avoid it. Organic link building is the safest and best linking strategy that you can choose to use.
As we say, content is king and best of natural links comes with high quality content. You should make sure your content contains enough details and insight about the topic you are covering. Avoid any kind of unnatural link building process like Paid text links, Comment blast and so on.
- Read: How to craft guest posting campaign strategy for maximum benefit
Like I mentioned above, you should write original content and make sure you are not creating duplicate content of your post on your site. For example, people often keep their Archive, Categories and tags pages with complete post and doindex, which creates the Duplicate content issue. Learn in detail about WordPress duplicate content issue and solutions.
Along with this, you should make sure that your content is not copied anywhere. Especially, if many auto feed blogs are syndicating your content then start offering partial feeds. You can also take help of Google DMCA to report such pages and remove them from Web search.
Linking out strategy:
I talked about Link building above and you should also take care of links going out from your site. You should understand the importance of outbound links for SEO and add useful and relevant links from other high quality domains.
When you are linking out, make sure those links are adding value to the post. One such example, you can always see in ShoutMeLoud blog posts, where Harsh usually link out to useful post from other domain to add more value to the content.
In 2012, Social signals has become one of the major ranking signals. Out of all the social buttons, Google plus share is the most important and especially for micro-niche marketer and small sites, who are penalized with recent Google Penguin change, you should consider promoting your site on Social media sites. You can use plugins like Monarch to quickly integrate Social media buttons and use services like Addmefast to get free social media votes.
Not only votes, but you should also add your presence on Social media sites like Google plus, Facebook by creating fan page. Here are two guides which will help you to get started:
- How to create Google plus page
- How to create Facebook Fan Page
And in the end, there is one tip which I would like to give: Stop investing money on Get on Google page 1 kind of scheme, Specially those WSO’s which claims to have find a way to fool Google and rank in Google#1. After every algo update, there will always be some kind of signal which can be gamed, but such changes doesn’t last for long and by the next update you need to pay the price by losing your traffic and search engine ranking.
Instead work on create site with quality content. Even if you are creating micro sites (3-4 page sites) for company or any topic, make sure you add value. How was Google penguin impact on your site and what measures have you taken to recover it and future proof SEO of your site?
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