How to recover and get back on track
Did you see a massive 30%+ drop in traffic to your website starting from 24th April? If so, I’m sorry to say that Penguin, Google’s latest anti-spam algorithm, has hit you.
Let’s face it, before the Panda and Penguin algos were launched, SEO (or at least the practice of positioning a url against keywords) was relatively easy: a bunch of keyword-rich anchor texts pointing from various sources (domains like .net, .org, .edu etc), a social bookmark blast and some basic on-page optimization would get good results.
After Panda and Penguin, SEO become much more difficult and, therefore, more interesting.
A major difference between the two algos is that while Panda focuses on poor quality content, Penguin was designed to target spam.
So, what are Google Penguin’s targets?
1) Article directories
2) Blog networks
3) Footer and sidebar links
4) Unnatural link building growth and practices (branded anchored texts and link velocity)
Well, what to do next?
Here are a few ideas. Implementing them will require more time, effort and, unfortunately, money. But in the end, you’ll be using better SEO practices focused on a long term marketing strategy, rather than just positioning keywords for a little while.
- Guest posting on quality, related sites
Research relevant industry blogs, and try to become a guest contributor.
- Press releases:
Avoid the free submission press release websites. Instead, try prweb or something similar. We suggest avoiding sending press releases unless you have something genuinely interesting to say.
- Human edited directories:
Submit your website to directories such as DMOZ, Yahoo Directory, BOTW and others. Although there are people who think that DMOZ is not worthwhile any more because of its delayed updates, most SEO experts still regard it as a reputable source worth investing in, because it is human-edited. Avoid all those automated directories – they are a waste of time, unless they’re local and niche-focused or they are recognisable brands like White Pages, Yellow Pages and HotFrog.
- Article submissions:
Stop submitting articles with duplicated content. Avoid crappy article submission website like ezines and the like. They are not effective and can even harm your website.
- Social bookmarking:
Stop building hundreds of bookmarks. Instead of just scattering a large quantity via multiple accounts, cultivate a set of accounts over time. Good sites to join are Diigo, Mister-Wong, Jumptags, Digg and Webmark.
- Link building:
In order to make your link building seem more organic to the search engines, vary the link velocity and page rank, and do not use the
same anchor texts. Use stop words and synonyms to give the anchor texts more variation.
When choosing sites for link building, find sites with good page ranks, good Alexa ranking stats and with a good number of social bookmarks, especially at their domain level. e.g Diig articules.
- Use Q&A sites:
By participating in forums like Yahoo Answers and niche forums, you’ll become a reputable and trusted source. While you’re helping your SEO campaign, you can even pick up new clients by interacting directly with potential customers online. e.g Yahoo Answers
- Blog comments:
Engage in carefully targeted commenting on niche and related blogs, using your real name and not just keywords. Search engines are no longer as likely as they once were to pick up keywords sprinkled in blog comments. These days, the main value of commenting is to engage readers/users. Genuine interaction with other commenters will boost your account’s respectability from an SEO perspective.
- Set up profiles at the major social media sites:
Create a profile on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Youtube and frequently update them, engaging with friends and contacts in any way possible. Whenever you do a guest post on another’s blog or web page, or when you publish a press release, share it on social media. Also, set up profiles for your site at other places like Technorati, Crunchbase, etc, etc. It’s important that your links become social.
Here are some useful references for you to read: