Getting ahead of the Google SEO changes
For those of you who have done my Online Marketers Googlicious course, you will know that Google uses reputational metrics as one way to determine whether or not your content is relevant to post on the search engine results pages (SERPS).
We also know that “PageRank”, a Google invention, used to be the most important metric to determine reputational metrics but because a whole search engine optimisation (SEO) industry grew around this, which many times created low quality links, Google had to make changes to their algorithm in order that the search engine results pages (SERPS) results are more relevant to your search needs.
So, Google got smarter and started to analyze the content of your pages. This content became more important than the links in determining how relevant your material is. The most important changes to Google’s algorithm in this regard have become known as the Panda and Penquin changes. When Google first introduced these changes about 13% of sites were knocked off the front pages of Googles search engine results pages (SERPS).
For many small businesses this meant that their pages were knocked off the top page of SERPS and as a result their income and or business leads from the net disappeared. Some of these businesses have folded as a result. Not all these businesses had low quality links… well not in the sense that we understand links to be low quality.
After much research we have now changed our recommendations regarding the creation of back links. This is very important.
Lets try to understand back links. Essentially back links are links to your website or to a page on your website. It is now important to determine the difference between the types of links that exist.
We determine the type of link by the anchor text that is used in the link.
The first type of links are brand or corporate links. These links typically would consist of your company name or be a link to one of your brands or products. In our case an example would be “Visit The Online Marketer to see our list of services” This is a link to the company.
The second type of links are generic links. These typically say some thing like “To get The Online Marketers free eBook on the 8 Most common mistakes internet marketers make click here“
The third type of link is a targeted link. These are links where your anchor text is the same as the key words you have identified to drive traffic to that particular webpage on your site. An example would be “ A recent and exciting development is the creation of the Google authorship programme where Google recognises you as a content creator and rewards you with your photograph in the SERPS when your posts are indexed.”
New back link strategies are required
Now, we have been teaching you how to create targeted links for your websites and now we have to change our advice. Research has shown that too many of the third type of links, the targeted links, pointing to your website may be working against you as a result of the most recent Penguin changes to Googles Algorithm.
We know that you need some targeted links, but exactly how many is open to debate. It seems clear that if 30% of your links are these targeted keyword links then you are perfectly safe for the moment. Some experts say these links can be as high as 50% of all your links but all the experts are in agreement that if your targeted links make up more than 50% of your links you face being slapped by Google.
Google wants a natural link structure to develop and they believe that any attempt to manipulate the system is negative. We agree.
The bottom line is that if you have engaged a low cost SEO expert in the last few years you most certainly will have a problem. They would have concentrated on building targeted links to your website.
If you have been doing linking yourself by participating in online discussion forums then you probably will be safe. To be absolutely sure, look for opportunities to build some generic and corporate links to balance your site link structure.
If your site is older than a year or two and it was built with SEO in mind then it may be prudent to have it analyzed.
Of course, it is very important to know what your situation is and to have a plan going forward. We would be happy to quote you for this service.
At The Online Marketer we have always heeded Googles warnings about putting too much emphasis on reputational management through back linking and we have advised our clients to concentrate on creating informative and engaging content. If you have followed this advice you can have a huge sigh of relief and get along with building your business.