Over optimization, bad links, black hat SEO tactics and a lackluster website user-experience create signals that can hurt performance. Be proactive and make sure your website is above reproach.
Hauppauge, New York (PRWEB) May 30, 2014
When Google Penguin was first announced on April 24, 2012, the goal was to decrease search engine rankings of sites that violated their webmaster guidelines. Sites with low quality, paid links, and over optimized links, for example, were penalized through a series of algorithmic updates. Thousands of small businesses who depend on search marketing for their lead generation campaigns experienced significant drops in rankings and web traffic.
Penguin made many business owners wonder if Google was on their side and if these updates were in fact helping or harming the small business community. However, when eBay and Payday Loan 2.0 rankings dropped last week, due to Google's Panda 4.0 Update, this made people begin to realize that any size or type of business is vulnerable, if it is pursuing harmful SEO tactics.
According to Doug Betensky of Upside Business Consultants, “Since the first Penguin update, many businesses have since taken a ‘white hat’ approach to Search Engine Optimization and have cleaned up their link profiles. However, those who have not done so may be facing ongoing penalties. With an algorithmic penalty, you need to have your SEO profile clean and above board before another Google update occurs. Simply waiting for your website to re-index will not solve the root issue.“
SEO experts, who are closely monitoring Google’s Penguin update, are predicting that Google may be releasing another update very soon. The good news is small business owners can be implementing preventive measures to help avoid potential problems, according to Mr. Betensky.
“Conducting a thorough, manual SEO Audit now can be life-saving for small business owners who suspect they may not have a clean SEO record. Check for signs of over optimization of your anchor text, review your link profile, assess your link building velocity, and look deeply into the quality of the sites pointing to your domain,” Mr. Betensky suggests. “Over optimization, bad links, black hat SEO tactics and a lackluster website user-experience create signals that can hurt performance. It’s best to be proactive and make sure that your website is above reproach.”
The following are some of the signs that a website may become vulnerable to a Penguin Update:
- You have used multiple SEO companies and you do not know what they were doing.
- You know for sure that you have paid backlinks that were set up in the past.
- You received warnings directly from Google.
- Your Website disappeared from the search engines.
- You have experienced a significant drop in specific keyword rankings and/or traffic.
- You know your current SEO company only used “white hat” SEO tactics, yet your performance has taken a hit in timeframes correlated with Penguin or Panda release dates.
Mr. Betensky also suggests that business owners use the following tips if they have experienced a drop off in rankings and traffic:
- Consult with your SEO company to understand the specifics of their SEO tactics. Specifically, understand how they go about link building and their philosophy about link building in general.
- Analyze Google Analytics and search for the size of drops correlated with Penguin’s release dates. Use this data to your advantage. Look at Google Webmaster Tools and look for any warnings or messages from Google.
- Manually remove bad links the best you can and then use Google’s disavow tool, if needed.
- Perform a competitive benchmark against your top four competitors on the Internet. Reverse engineer the strengths and weaknesses your SEO campaign. Compare the quality of your linkbuilding efforts to theirs. Look at the quality and volume of links pointing to each site. Understand if you have just been outcompeted or if you have been hurt by an SEO misstep.
- Perform an in-depth manual SEO audit of your website and all of the links pointing to it. Use a professional company. Free online tools are useful only for a cursory analysis.
- Develop a “Penguin-Proof” action plan and a process with which you can move forward.
Small business owners are also advised to make sure that they are only using SEO companies who have direct experience performing in-depth written SEO audits. The value of a report is the interpretation of the data and the action plan presented to you to solve your problem.
Upside suggests that you do your due diligence when you meet with the SEO audit company. Ask them what will be in the report, how many hours will be spent on your project and what the deliverable will be. Ask for references.
If you need assistance, Upside Business Consultants offers a unique program called the 360IMA, which is an in-depth, full analysis of a company’s SEO and Internet marketing program. The engagement results in one of the most in-depth reports available in the industry and very clear go-forward steps to help improve your website’s performance.
For general details of the 360 Internet Marketing Audit, visit: http://upsidebusiness.com/360-internet-marketing-audit.html or call: (516) 610-0922.
About Upside Business Consultants:
Upside Business Consultants is a leading Long Island marketing firm that provides SEO, Pay-Per-Click advertising, internet marketing, marketing consulting, social media marketing, video marketing, and marketing coaching/training services. Upside implements proven marketing strategies to help business owners grow their companies and improve results.