Much interwebs buzz has been focussing lately on the forthcoming Google Penguin update, which Matt Cutts has described as being ‘significant’ and has many SEO consultants shaking in their boots.
The fact is, that if you have been operating with a quality content, link-bait, zero-backlink type philosophy for the last few years, you are probably future-proof as that is all that Google or anybody visiting really wants; quality content that people want to share and that gains popularity on its own merit.
The reality, however, is that not everyone is able to generate such quality content, in large quantities, so those using automated techniques will always need to tread especially carefully.
These 5 tips should help ensure that you’re keeping yourself as safe as possible:
- Web of Trust (WOT) This tool can help you to see how third parties such as Google – as well as the public in general – view the trustworthiness of your website.This can pick up on things like spammy backlinks, or even a simply unnatural-looking link profile – this is in addition to those that have been reported for malware or scams.
- Content, Content, Content
No change here – content is still king and you need to ensure that the content on your site, your Tier 1 sites and even Tier 2 are as unique as possible; at a bare minimum they should be passing Copyscape checks, but better still, the content should be able to pass human moderation.The benefit of having great content, on top of it being unique, is that the community of the internet are more likely to share it anyway and will help lead to the holy grail of going viral.
If you haven’t already visited (and frankly, where have you been for the past decade?) then you should check out Copyblogger to understand what’s behind great content. Even if you’re not a great writer yourself or just too lazy, outsource the project to your subordinates or to an agency – you can even use services like oDesk or iWriter (my recommendation) and make sure that you’re crystal clear about your requirements.
Content can be expensive, but if you are in charge of a Marketing budget then there really isn’t a better way to be spending that cash that will benefit your website in the long-run.
- Link Velocity You can’t do a great deal for the link-building exercises that have taken place previously, but going forward, try and avoid blitzing your links across the web. Consistency is the key, so drip feed your links via SENuke or Ultimate Demon, or whatever tool you are using for the job.This goes hand-in-hand with the ‘natural link profile’ that everyone keeps harping on about; either join the bandwagon and develop organic growth, or emulate organic growth.
- Maintain Good Neighbours Using a tool like Scrapebox (wisely!) can help you to identify backlinks with Fake PageRank or Fake Alexa rankings, which may also be harming your site’s trust.Also keep an eye out for backlinks which have become de-indexed by Google or the other major search engines – this can also be done in Scrapebox.
- The Mix
Randomise everything. Content; Anchor Text; Site Types (Web 2.0, Wikis, Forums, Blogs etc); Backlink Site PageRank (PR) – the list goes on.
Avoid the temptation to go laser-targeted for any of your SEO work as this will simply make you stand out and get red-flagged by the bods at Google; this doesn’t mean losing relevance, but avoid activities like targeting high-PR websites only.
Maintain the stance of looking natural and blending in with the masses for long-term success.
Also read Sun Tsu’s – Art of War for an understanding of why this technique works and how it has been applied to many aspects of life for hundreds of years.
If you have followed all of these rules to the letter, you stand a much better chance of avoiding SERP penalties and maintaining a long and harmonious reign on page 1 for your chosen keywords.
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