So the Wall Street Journal has written an article about the Google Penguin update and how it has possibly hurt some small businesses. When you view the article, you’re introduced to a 47 year old man, sitting on the floor playing with his beautiful dogs. As well you’ll learn he is the owner of a company that sells dog supplies. The business owner states that 70% of his customers find his company via Google searches using the keywords “dog beds” and “dog clothes.” If you’ve had your head in the sand for a while, Google has gone through a major algorithm change here in the past few weeks with the intent of punishing those that are using “spammy,” black hat methods to gain favorable rankings in the search engines, and rewarding those that are following “the king’s” (Google) webmaster rules and regulations. THAT remains to be seen, who those people actually are and who will take a tumble in the SERPs.
Whether you like it or not, Google IS king when it comes to web searches and you have to play by their rules. While Google does not share EXACTLY what you should do, they offer up quite a few things that you SHOULD do. There are some incredibly creative people out there that have tried to circumvent the system by utilizing spammy, link farms where you write one article and they push it to many, sometimes thousands, of websites with RIDICULOUS names in attempts to gain “inbound links.” The purpose of INBOUND links is to get them from a trusted source, not a link farm. This business owner admits he did pay for the links in an effort to gain back his rankings. In my mind, he should be willing to suffer the consequences.
According to Google’s Matt Cutts, a Google engineer, “…The Penguin algorithm update was designed to reduce Web spam, which is when websites try to get a higher search ranking than they deserve by deceiving or manipulating search engines. In many cases, the affected sites had been spamming for a long time.”
Enough said. To be totally above board with your website optimization, my advice is to think about and consider what COULD happen if you utilize some of these “bad” tactics. It’s just like you’d tell a kid: if you cheat, you might get caught. Google is getting closer and closer to catching the bad ones.When we train our clients on search engine optimization, website maintenance and social media, we talk to them about a few things that can seriously ruin your whole day. My first warning is always “don’t borrow information for other sources” – otherwise known as duplicate content. Just don’t steal – basic concept. Be truthful and engaging about your posts, tweets, and blog updates. If you don’t do it or can’t do it, don’t talk about it or suggest that you can. Again, basic concepts. And lastly, know what you are paying for. Internet marketers and search engine optimization specialists (SEO) are a dime-a-dozen these days, and they don’t have a CLUE what to do. If they don’t take the time to read and research and almost INUNDATE you with information requests, you might be dealing with someone that just doesn’t know what they are doing. If they are promising number one rankings ever……RUN. RUN FOREST RUN!