Here’s a quick-start guide to getting yourself out of trouble with Google.
IOM Partners of Houston, TX specializes and lives off of Houston Web Design and Houston SEO. If you do a lot of business online like we do, you might have recently felt what I can only relate possibly to the feeling of loss of life. It was Google’s New Penguin 3.0 Algorithm release. It’s actually still rolling out so a lot of people are experiencing off-the-wall catastrophic losses, even losing entire businesses in very bad ways. The SEO game is a very fickle game to begin with. As I, myself, make a full-time living for myself doing this, it’s inexplicably crazy.
Who was affected by Penguin 3.0?
Penguin 3.0 was released October 17, 2014. This was the first Google Penguin update in over a year and, with this release, webmasters everywhere were looking both at the benefits to their site that they would see as they had cleaned up their act online as well as the detriment their behavior could have caused over the last year or so.
- Link profiles were cleaned up.
- People got VERY familiar with the Google Disavow tool.
- People stopped building spammy links and started paying more attention to overall quality.
- People waited and watched.
It’s estimated that about 3.7% of English-speaking websites were hit and it is known that this Penguin algorithm is still rolling out across the world and will continue to do so for the next few weeks.
What makes it even harder for webmasters to measure the impact of this algorithm update is that Google actually released two other algorithm updates including another Panda release as well as one called “Pirate”, focused on Software & Media Piracy.
How do I know if I was hit with a penalty?
- Do you generally track keywords you compete for or are you just a light web-business person? If you noticed huge losses in traffic in the form of new leads or you track your targeted keywords avidly, you likely noticed a huge loss in traffic. This is a light/algorithmic penalty.
- If you login to your Google Webmaster Tools account, there could be a notice from Google, themselves, telling you “Hey, we’re taking you off the web until you stop screwing around”.
What did I do wrong to where I got hit with this algorithmic update?
SEO has been a goldmine and a tombstone for many people, that’s for certain. Blackhat SEO is running rampant as is the mainstream-version of what we used to call “hacking”. I’ve seen sites take a year to rank for minimal terms. I’ve seen impossible results achieved in less than a month. Different books. Different tricks. Therein lies the core of where you went wrong, doing these tricks.
- Did you buy a lot of links from someone?
- Did you do countless likes and Social Network shares?
- Did you write cheap content or just do none at all and rely on “Fiverr Gigs” to get SEO results?
- There are many other things you could have done wrong that worked REALLY well before.
- The core of the SEO hellhole, now, is that too many people “tried to do SEO”. Trying to alter the impression as to the value of your website in ANY form or fashion is considered bad-juju by Google.
- Google WANTS you to not do well and get wise to SEO. Otherwise, why would anyone pay for their ads?
How do I fix my website after being penalized by Google?
So you got caught. No big deal. Your biggest enemy will be the time that it takes for you to come back to the world of being visible on the Web. That’s because you first need to clean up your act and then wait until Google feels like dealing with you again.
- Don’t buy bulk links and try to bully the internet. The Engineers behind the internet are the smart ones that got mad when the idiot jocks cheated off of them in high-school and college and got by without any sort of real effort. They’re not paying bullies back by making the Web better for people that actually try to contribute to it. CREATE CONTENT THAT PEOPLE REALLY WANT TO KNOW ABOUT.
- The web is more and more getting to be about authoritative publishing, meaning that true authorities that contribute to a field or art and really educate others on it are the ones that are quickly gaining in their niches.
- Write good, long, and educational content. Starting an online pharmacy site? That’s great! You are not the first. That doesn’t mean that you can’t still be the best. Are you trying to get people to your penis-enlarger pill directly or are you offering them some authoritative information on aspects of erectile dysfunction, leading them to other authoritative and useful sources of information for the subject and creating a stronger “Web” of interconnected resources? There’s a HUGE difference. YES, YOUR CONTENT HAS TO BE UNIQUE AND IT NEEDS TO BE IMPORTANT AND UNIQUELY USEFUL. I equate this to people lying on their employment applications and resumes when they’re asked about their professional experience. The web knows when you’re BS’ing and it doesn’t like it.
- If you’re really going to play the game, connect with other authors. You don’t need 1,000 crappy links. You need 4-5 per month that are really strong. Of course, there are ethical and effective ways of meeting new people that have this type of credibility. Nothing wrong with that. You just really do need to get people to “Like” you.
- Look into removing bad links from irrelevant sites. To do so, you will need to get a list of the bad links using a service like Ahrefs.com or MajesticSEO.com, contacting the webmasters to see if they will remove the bad link, and then using Google’s “Disavow Tool” to get them to consider removing these links for you. This should be your last result as you have to prove you did some leg-work, first, to get Google to take this manual action.
- Really the key is JUST START DOING THINGS THE RIGHT WAY FROM NOW ON.
- Good things take time. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Diversify the way you market yourself.
- Build your brand. From hereon, the Web is putting importance on branding, for sure.
I’m not saying don’t do any of your old tricks but if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Automated SEO software is garbage. You need good writing and interest or at least the implication of interest and expertise on the subject.
If you don’t have the time or interest to do your own writing (completely understandable), hire professional writers to help you. There is such a thing as ethical link-building and ethical SEO.
IOM Partners of Houston, TX specializes in Organic White-Hat SEO and Web Design. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us so that we can look and see how we can help you!