The ‘changing of the guard’ amongst website rankings due to Google’s search algorithm transformation was shocking to say the least. Those who were on top were suddenly on the bottom and vice-versa. So much so that people lost their jobs and money shifted hands in an instant. It meant that between twenty and thirty percent of traffic as well as revenue immediately dropped off for the unfortunate ‘content farms’ such as Yahoo Associated Content, Mahalo, Ezine Articles and Wise Geek. These and others lost upwards of seventy five percent of their traffic. This of course meant there was no money for advertising so that industry felt the sting as well. The question is, where does this leave everyone? Turns out there are some new ways as well as original old ways to write blog posts that the new Google will love.
First and Foremost: Be the Squeaky Wheel
The unfortunate result of this algorithm change has been the perceived unfair page reorganization regarding quality sites. Many smaller sites that cater to a large niche community have been bumped to second and third page slots which, in this market, is like being cast into the Sahara desert with a thimble full of water. It is quite damaging. In turn, many lower quality sites have found their way into the first page slots. This is the case with My3cents.com operated by Max Spankie and considered one of the top quality consumer complaint sites by the non-profit Consumer Federation of America. Spankie is quoted as saying, “We work hard to be a quality site, and I definitely think the sites that are now winning our niche aren’t about quality.” One glimmer of hope is being the squeaky wheel. Logging an explanation post in the Google discussion form about the topic and how it applies to you may get Google to adjust its algorithm regarding justifiable disputes. Unfortunately, no tangible, manual changes can be applied at this time. A Google spokesman reported, “…we will continue to listen to feedback from publishers and the community as we refine our algorithms.” So before you revamp your entire blog try stating your case.
Follow the Guidelines
According to Google’s webmaster guide there are several things you can do to make your blog more Google friendly. Spending your time looking for manipulative devices to better your ranking will not only have you found out and removed but it will make it that much more difficult for everyone else. Maintain your integrity and good business practice by placing high content material in your blog. Below are some guideline advice and requirements to hopefully get you running at an optimal page position.
- Watch Your Links – Many spammers offer incentives to incorporate their link within your blog or author bios. Avoid these at all costs as they will most definitely backlash onto your site link which in turn will affect your ranking.
- Watch Your Computer Programs – Google’s Terms of Service specifically forbids unauthorized page submitting programs such as WebPositionGold which devours necessary computing resources.
- No SEO Driven Content – Search engine keyword stuffing or cloaking will most likely be flagged as they mislead users and can also offer dissimilar results than originally displayed.
- Think Outside Search Engines – If search engines did not rule the Internet how would you display your content? When gathering blog information be sure and keep it in the realm of, “Would I want to read this?” and “Am I giving my users a beneficial search result experience?”
- Do Not Duplicate or Hide – Material and links that are duplicated or sub-domain-ed will not work for the new Google format. This includes hidden text, hidden links and link automated queries.
Panda and the New Google
When the Panda algorithm change surfaced it was only one of almost five hundred search improvements to be implemented over the next year or so. Although many believed that their rankings were directly affected by Panda it really was only in part due to Panda but also included well over fifteen or so algorithm tweaks since. Below is a list of questions to ask yourself when constructing your blog to make it more user friendly for the new Google algorithm adjustment.
- Is there redundancy, duplication or overlapping?
- Is the information complete, descriptive and comprehensible?
- Would you want to share and/or bookmark this site?
- Are there an abundance of annoying ads and pop-ups on each page?
- Is this article applicable for magazine or book printing?
- Are specifics vague and unhelpful?
- If the subject of health is written, would you trust it?
The above advice covers a lot of original advice prior to Google’s change which basically reiterates the need for high content quality. Keep your blog original, to the point, fact heavy with resource mention and overall full of pertinent, useful information. As the old adage states, content is king, but at the end of the day it is really high quality content that will get you noticed.
Jennifer Blanche is a full-time certified ultrasound tech with a passion for writing and blogging. She enjoys following new trends and hopes others can learn from her online experiences.