Give way to Penguins

The New Google Penguin 2.0 Update

So yesterday Google released the updated version of Penguin.  This is a continuation of their first Penguin update, meant to fight webspam.  It goes deeper with regards to websites and looks at not only the home page, but internal pages as well.  What this means is that it is more important than ever to ensure your on-page metrics are up to snuff as this new update is supposed to impact more sites than the original Penguin update did.

There are a number of things you can do to ensure your site does not run afoul of this new Penguin update.  Again, the main metrics that this update will be looking at are onpage issues.  The key that I take away from what I hear is that they are taking the whole site into consideration rather than relying on the home page.  This is good news if you are aware of this fact, as by going through your internal pages and ensuring they are clean and Google friendly you can position your site to take advantage of this update.

One quick and easy thing you can do today that will help your site is to run a Copyscape check on each page of your site.  Copyscape is a site that will compare your content with other content out there on the internet and let you know if your content is duplicated elsewhere. You can click through to the site with the offending content and Copyscape will tell you how many words and what percentage of the text is duplicated.  If you find duplicated content elsewhere on the web you should update your content and change it so that it is not triggering the duplicate content issues.  I know, if you wrote the content you may feel violated, but trust me it is easier to re-write your content than trying to get it removed from the sites who have taken it!

Another thing you can do right now to help your site is to do a link check.  Check all outgoing links from your site and ensure that the sites they link to are still online and are not spammy or low quality sites.  Linking out to bad neighborhoods is not a good thing, we all know that.  With this update, however, your whole site could be impacted due to old links that are on buried internal pages you may have forgotten about.  Go do a once over on your site today and make sure it is Penguin 2.0 ready.

For those who are interested, here is the update video of Matt Cutts announcing the rollout:

 

Give way to Penguins

New Penguin Update Ready To Go For Google

According to Searchenginejournal.com, Matt Cutts during his SMX talk indicated that a new Penguin update would be rolled out shortly, likely late this week or early next week.  So what does that mean to you?

For some it will be a great update with a lot of upward movement.  For others, it will mean lost rankings yet again.  Of course we don’t know what Google has planned, but we can infer from past updates and the name cited in this new update as to what we can expect.

The Penguin update was an update that targeted web spam.  It’s goal was to remove spammy results from the search engine rankings.  It did this by a number of means, but the easiest way to think about it would be an over optimization penalty.  If you build links to your site with only your main keywords as the anchor text, if you get all of your links from a link network or if you keyword stuff or hide text it is likely this penalty will further erode your rankings.

On the other hand if you have been improving your SEO link profile to include a wide variety of phrases as we have been suggesting, getting links from a wide variety of places, building links on a very regular and consistant basis (preferably by hand) and writing better and original content, you could see an improvement in your rankings during this update.

Give way to PenguinsOne thing many people are not aware of is that the large moves based on the Penguin update are not daily moves.  They are enacted on the Penguin updates.  So if your site got hit hard last Penguin update, chances are you would not see a lot of upward movement between then and now even if you were doing everything right.  One reason we believe it is set up this way is so that it is more difficult to ‘reverse engineer’ this update.  If you could make changes and see results on the fly it would be very easy for many spammers that Google is targeting to simply change tactics and continue to adjust to keep their rankings.

Instead Google is making you wait for updates to really see results.  This means that those true website owners who are small businesses or legitmate sites who are really trying to do things right and have taken a long term approach to staying within gidelines are going to benefit most.  They key we have been focusing on is anchor text variations.  If you have not already, read our post about the proper anchor text mix.  Combine that with a low cost monthly service that gives you link sources to build to by hand like this one and you can create a monthly stream of links to your site with the right anchor text mix.  If you are able to get a couple high quality PR links from sites related to yours each month along with this steady stream of links, your link profile will look much more natural and chances are you will see the benefits in the search engines.

Alternative Methods of Website Traffic

Today we are going to look at some alternative methods of obtaining website traffic.  Of course being ranked number one for all of your search terms in the major search engines is everyone’s goal, but these days with the competition for major keyword phrases and terms that is not realistic for all website owners.  The good news, however, is that you do not need to rely on top rankings for all of your traffic.

There are many alternative methods of obtaining traffic to your website, and diversifying your traffic sources is going to do nothing but good for your site and business moving forward.  As many found out last year, relying on only one source of traffic can be devastating if that source of traffic goes away.  Instead, we recommend casting a wide net across many traffic channels.

One great source of traffic is an email list.  Regardless of the business you are in, a targeted opt in email list is going to ensure you have people reading what you have to say and visiting your website.  If you have never done any type of emailing before, now is a great time to start.  Sign up for an account at Aweber, they are the leader in email marketing.  You can create an opt in form and put it on your site very quickly.  Offering a free report or a weekly newsletter is a great incentive for people to sign up.  These people are already interested in what you have to say, and many will turn into long-term followers of your site/blog/newsletter and more.

Another great source of traffic is local listings.  I am not talking about only the Google local listings, but all different types of local listings.  Yelp is great.  Bing has a local listing feature.  Online yellow pages are another place to get listed.  In addition, you can do a localized search for what your business does and see what directories or local listings show up.  Get listed with those directories or local listing sites.  You will not get a huge amount of traffic from any one of these sources, but you will get a little from each.  If one goes away you lose only a tiny bit of traffic.  Even better than that is the traffic quality, this type of traffic is typically going to convert much better than general search engine traffic.

puzzlePinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other social media type sites are also great places to have a presence.  You want to be found on all of the major social media type sites, but if you are doing all your marketing yourself, chances are you will not have time to maintain all of these outlets.  Choose one or two and concentrate on them.  I like Linkedin, and have joined and created many groups that send me qualified leads on a semi-regular basis.

Finally, find a few forums that are frequented by your target audience.  Take part in these forums and add a link back to your site in your signature.  You do not need to be overly promotional here, just a link so people can find your site online if they want to learn more about what you do or offer.  Be helpful, answer questions and you will get some traffic in return.  Again, this will be traffic that will convert much better than search engine traffic.

By marketing your website like a real business, you will find that you can pick up a lot of little chunks of great quality traffic from many places.  Not only is this simply good marketing, but it also helps you to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket!

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