A trending topic for the last 6 weeks or so online has been the SEO changing Panda updates. Both the original and the latest versions of the algorithm updates. Some website owners have laughed, some have cried, but all of us in the SEO industry have had to adjust some to compensate for the changes.
A new twist on the update discussion that has been gaining traction as of late is the thoughts of the increased diligence that as SEO experts, we will be conducting when picking up new clients. Scouring the content, links and the structure of the site were always paramount to success, checking the backlink structure however was often just glanced at. With the scare which Panda has brought into the spotlight of using content farm back links or having a link farm tied to your site, checking on a deep backlink history for clients new and old has become a priority. The fear that snagging that new massive deal, be undermined because of shady link building practices in the past has elevated the concerns of the search community.
It has also raised another question about the discovery of link farm back links and paid link building schemes to boost clients page rank. The Panda updates and the Google algorithm in general, have often caught the ire of the masses as being poor and best and out right failing at worst. Being that anyone can check any websites backlink structure and history, the development of a built in website reporting widget for your browser from Google and it seems that the industry is due to become full of vigilantes. Imagine the scenario, while checking on a niche competitors backlinks you discover that they’ve been buying thousands of links to boost their page rank and SERPs standing. With just a quick click of your mouse and a short form filled out, you’ve essentially neutered your competition and kicked their feet out from under them in one efficient motion.
This could lead to a massive amount of finger pointing and name calling in the SEO community. But at the same time, it’ll help reinforce the organic search experts position in the field. Never forget the basics, always keep it simple, don’t buy into link schemes which claim to guarantee page rank and SERP position and always do your due diligence.
“If my Google PageRank moves up to a 3 and my competitor’s PageRank remains a 1, will that push me above them in Google’s search engine rankings?”
Unfortunately, the answer is no. PageRank and your SERPs are not related in that sense. PageRank is an authority number assigned by Google based on an algorithm associating several factors to determine your site’s trustworthiness which, indirectly affecting your rankings in Google for specific keyword phrases. It is not used by Google to determine your rankings for keywords. It is amazing, that in 2009 that some webmasters, business owners and marketers still put emphasis on Google PageRank when determining the goals of your search engine optimization efforts. The goal of your SEO campaign should be to increase relevant visitors to your website over time from the search engines.
That being said, Google does use some of the same factors in its ranking algorithm as it does in its PageRank algorithm. But there are factors used to determine keyword rankings that are not used in PageRank. Keyword placement in your URL for example, is a factor that Google may use for search engine ranking purposes, but it doesn’t affect your PageRank at all. Other factors such as quality content, internal linking, etc do not affect PageRank, but are used to determine your placement on the SERPs.
Bottom line, don’t expect advances in your PageRank to affect your search engine rankings. The two are not related at all…and focus your energy on marketing your website and business online and to become an authority in the eyes of your visitors and the search engines.
One of the greatest advantages of the Internet and search engines like Google is that you can find almost anything about almost anything or anyone. This is particularly true following the advent of web 2.0 technologies and increasingly sophisticated websites indexing everything from video to audio – we’ve come a long way from text rich sites with just an image or two to mix things up.
Of course, this information superhighway is also incredibly bad news if you’re unfortunate enough to find yourself or your company on the wrong end of some bad press. Unlike the newspapers of yesteryear that were discarded after reading, online publications are indexed indefinitely, giving bad press an infinite shelf life
If your company is poorly represented on a site with a good PageRank, a respectable number of links and good rankings, chances are it will turn up near the top of the SERPs for searches on that company name. Not only does this mean the story will live on long after the facts may have changed, it’s also galling to discover that the old mantra of bad news selling translates equally aptly online. Say the bad press takes the form of a harsh critique of your restaurant. Upon seeing the piece, you take action and work solidly for six months to turn your eatery around. You change the menu, source new suppliers, opt for a complete revamp of the décor and hire a new head chef and sous chef. After all your hard work, you log back on and discover the bad review is still prominently positioned in a search for your business name. All because the review ran in an influential food mag or national newspaper.
How do you fight this and regain credibility? Most bad press relates to a particular service area or product, rather than attacking the entire business model. This, while unfortunate for the product being bad mouthed, is actually good news when it comes to rectifying the situation as it gives you a very specific plan of attack.
Even in SEO, the best defense is a good offense and there are several options available to you to replace the negative with the positive. The most effective way, is to focus on how the changes have been brought about and drown out the bad with good. That means developing a groundswell of support for the keyword or keywords being black balled. When attempting this, you must apply the fundamental rules of organic optimization while embracing the usefulness and grassroots potency of social media activity and multi-media content.
Research is always the first stage so ascertain which keywords trigger the bad press. Create a list so the whole set of phrases can be included in the image overhaul. This is also a good opportunity to re-assess any existing organic activity. Ask yourself if variations of these keywords such as location specific versions are now appropriate to your optimization. If you’ve grown as a company while making some fundamental changes to the business offering, chances are you will be able to add more words to the list.
The second stage is to understand why the negative press is gaining such prominent positions. Obviously if the site is well established and a respected resource, your situation isn’t helped. However, you can take advantage of their stronghold by running link reports and then sifting through the returned results. Pick out referrers with a good PageRank, domains that are particularly relevant to your own site and make a note of any social networking sites that you haven’t yet heard of or haven’t yet had the opportunity to use. This will form a fundamental part of your positivity drive.
Having developed an initial list of sites to target for linkbacks in order to negate the advantage of the bad publicity, you need to approach each of those sites and barter for a link. The most effective way to do this is to provide unique content. For newspaper sites, specialist portals and the like, why not create a press release announcing your re-launch, outlining all of the positive differences that have been made? Consider a launch party or opening night in order to get local press involved and then send out the PR to all of those sites on the original link back list. If you’re feeling brave, you can even send the piece to the author of the bad press you’re trying to sink. Invite them to come and review your product offering again, suggest a formal meeting or collaborate on a competition, pushing any newly gained sales tools such as client testimonials. The creation of new jobs if you’ve taken on new members of staff as part of the restructuring or even a great offer on the original product can pique the interest of the newshound who first slammed your offering.
With your PR campaign launched, you need to find other ways to build links and positive opinion about your brand or company. To do this, remember that the results pages of major engines like Google or no longer simply about text based content. Video, audio and images all play their part. Creating interesting and useful multi-media content makes a great addition to any traditional SEO campaign and is a useful part of the armor when driving out bad press. Create video content that is going to be of interest to others and make sure that it is easily shared. Video sharing typically takes place around sites like YouTube so incorporate this facility to get others to link back to it.
Social media sites like YouTube, Twitter, Squidoo, Sphin and Digg are all powerful tools and an extension of the content diversity you’ll need to push unfavorable listings off the front page. Any social media campaign activity should be thought of as a chance to communicate with the consumer, not sell to them. Create content specifically for this purpose, invite their feedback and provide a space for conversation and the links and client goodwill you seek will follow. This same approach can also be used for forum activity. Rather than jumping in with any excuse to link back to your site, watch first, participate second. Take time to understand the forum profile and then introduce relevant content and responses. Ask probing questions and give answers that inform and watch the links flood in. Content creation managed this way often grows organically, being picked up by blogs or industry commentators to create yet more links and more goodwill.
As with a full-on SEO campaign, attempt to turn around a poor online reputation need to be sustained if they are to succeed. If you don’t have time to dedicate yourself, consider hiring an SEO company or external consultant on a short term basis to carry out your brief
Off-Site SEO refers to search engine optimization techniques that are not performed on your own website or page, and are therefore termed “off-site.”
You see, these days, optimizing the content on your pages is not enough. For effective SEO you need help from other websites in the form of incoming links, commonly referred to as backlinks.
That’s basically what off-site SEO is all about – getting quality links relevant to your topic to assist the search engines in establishing what your web page focuses on. You can think of each backlink as a vote for your page. This is what Google’s PageRank measures, albeit in a complex way, taking many factors into consideration.
There are many ways to get backlinks; unfortunately, few of them are quick and easy. Here are some options:
Creating content that makes people link to it
Doing link exchanges
Getting directory listings
Writing and syndicating articles
Making forum postings
Posting comments to theme related blogs
One link from a high quality site is worth tens from a poor site. And linking to bad sites can negatively effect your own website’s rankings.
One-way links into your website from another are of greater value than reciprocal links from carrying out link exchanges.
Links to your pages should use the relevant keywords in the anchor text. Use several variations on this text if you plan to create a high number of backlinks to a page. You’ll get better results and it looks more natural to the search engines, keeping you below the radar.
It’s generally best to avoid organized link exchanges or link farms. In the vast majority of cases they will harm, not help you. This is because the search engines see it as manipulation of the SERPS (Search Engine Results Page) and punish linked websites when they discover the network.
Although I’ve summarized link building in just a few sentences, don’t underestimate how important off-site SEO is. Good backlinks with targeted keyword anchor text carry so much weight these days that if it’s done well it’s entirely possible to rank a website highly for terms not even occurring on the page.
The advice on SEO in these 2 articles is all you need to start getting your pages ranking highly for traffic generating keywords. You just need to get on and do it, and be prepared to spend the time good off-site SEO requires. The more high rankings you get, the greater their influence on your overall rankings, and the easier it will become to tackle more difficult keyword phrases
Mayhem breaks out as Google updates its PageRank, Yes a few sites have lost a few digits off the little bar, but some have gained.
Yes it seems to be aimed at websites Google thinks sells links and passes juice, what is the big deal?
Remember once upon a time I was the Googleman, only my signature, a promise, high court injunction and a few $$$ to keep my mouth shut for a few years kept me quite on revealing the SECRETS.
Whatever, PageRank is nice to have, BUT is it the be all and end all, NO.
I have had sites listing #1 for years with a PR2 and only got that through DMOZ, SERPS is what counts, no secrets, good content that is relevant, good internal linking and a few good inbound links should see you list.
Anyway back to the latest update, SERPS have been affected this time, especially if you have links from sites google has penalized, I am sure these will surface over the next week or so, I am seeing these now on a few websites already, no doubt we will have blogs and stories and screams about this next week.
Get it straight, Its not against the rules to buy links, if you buy for the right reason, traffic and not trying to shaft Google for PR or better SERPS, if you do then expect to suffer the rath of the BigG.
You hear it all the time on the net from some very good sources, but is Googles PR (Page Ranking) all that is made of it?
The reason I ask myself this question is, I know sites that have been at the top of Google, Yahoo, MSN search engines for the last 5 years and these sites only have a Google PR2 ranking, yet are on the first page for keywords and phrases that have over 40 million listed pages.
The content is good and relevant, the keywords are meaningful with the correct density and none have high ranking PR pages back linking pages to them, so what is the secret?
By the way, one of these sites gets over 5 million hits per year worldwide.
While it is a never ending job for seo experts trying to work out the Algorithms of the search engines, it just may be that if you write a good website, with good content that is releveant, with correct titles and descriptions, you just may get the spot you require.
Answers on a post card please