Are you relying on Google for all your traffic?
Have you experienced a drop in rankings, traffic and sales?
What marketing alternatives are there to Google?
What steps have you taken to prevent your site from suffering future search algorithm updates?
Many online marketers experienced a sudden drop in rankings, traffic and sales following the latest search algorithim changes from Google. Two of the major factors that prompted these changes were websites containing thin content and using techniques to to boost their rankings in the search engines.
Let’s dig deeper into the Penguin and Panda algorithim updates and see how they affected websites:
This code name refers to a Google algorithm update announced on April 24, 2012 which affected websites that used keyword stuffing, cloaking and unnatural linking techniques. For example blog spam refers to posting your article on one blog then re-posting it automatically to all the other blogs in the same network.
Unnatural links refers to building your links in an unnatural pattern. For example if you suddenly receive 1000 new links to your website in one day instead of acquiring new links over several weeks from different web properties.
Google Panda (also named Farmer Update)
This code name refers to a Google algorithm update announced on February 2011which lowered the rankings of sites containing low quality content and rewarding sites with high quality content (ie higher rankings).
What is a high quality website?
Here are some questions you can use to assess the “quality” of a web page or an article. According to Google Webmaster’s Central Blog “these are the kinds of questions we ask ourselves as we write algorithms that attempt to assess site quality”.
- Would you trust the information presented in this article?
- Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
- Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
- Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
- Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
- Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
- Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
- Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
- How much quality control is done on content?
- Does the article describe both sides of a story?
- Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
- Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
- Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
- For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
- Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
- Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
- Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
- Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
- Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
- Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
- Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
- Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
- Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
Placing all your eggs in one basket (the Google basket) is a recipe for future disappointment. Google doesn’t care about your rankings or whether you’re making any money. They are in the business for themselves and want to remain the leading search engine for providing the most relevant search results.
Here are some alternative marketing strategies to Google:
Create Quality Content
I mentioned this first because it’s the reason the web was created. People will always be searching for valuable information on the web so if you help solve their problems by creating the content they want you’ll always get a hungry audience.
Building a list of subscribers interested in your niche will safe guard you from other forms of marketing you have no control over ie search engines and social media sites. Once you’ve built a large list you have the ability to generate immediate sales because you’ve built a relationship with them.
Re-purpose your content into video, audio, reports
Not everyone prefers to read their content in textual form. Some prefer to watch videos, listen to a podcast while exercising or downloading a PDF file to read later on. The more ways you re-purpose your content the more people you’ll reach.
Getting your content in front of other peoples traffic is a great way to get established yourself. For instance if you publish your content on a popular blog that receives thousands of visitors each day you’ll also receive some of that traffic plus gain high quality backlinks.
Even though YouTube is owned by Google it’s much easier to gain high rankings with YouTube videos than textual content. Convert your content into a video then upload it to YouTube and other video sharing websites.
Social Media Marketing
Network with others in your niche by sharing your content on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Make sure you always redirect visitors back to your main website or blog because it’s a web property you control unlike social media sites which you have no control over.
Don’t dismiss Google completely but continue to optimize any content you create because Google will still generate a large amount of your traffic.
Top 7 Reasons to Create a Social Media Presence for Your Business
Top 7 effective link building strategies
How to Correctly Structure Your Website for Search Engines and Visitors
SEO 101 – How To Begin A Search Engine Optimization Campaign
How to Write Web Copy That Sells
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