Every since Matt Cutts announced the very first Panda algorithm changes, the SEO world has been in a sort of pandemonium, no pun intended. I’ve had some of my sites *lose rankings and consequently a loss of income followed. The question a lot of Internet Marketers, webmasters and SEO experts are asking is, “How do we avoid being slapped and penalized by Google?”
I’m going to start off answering that question by hitting everyone with the brutal truth. If you have been monitoring the latest Google algorithm changes, you will surely have noticed that a lot of sites Google pushed to the back of the result pages DID NOT deserve to be slapped or penalized! Conversely, there were other sites that deserved to be pushed back that got moved to the front of the SERPs.
The point being; there is a degree of personal subjectivity and scientific loonyism when it comes to Google and ranking websites. That being said, there are three areas you can control that will serve to protect you from the current SEO turbulence. Keep in mind; these tips are for those seeking organic traffic from Google. If you are getting traffic from other sources such as FaceBook, Pinterest, etc., you can basically disregard everything that is being shared here.
Know Your Website’s Overall Quality Score
Most SEO pundits and SEO experts hear and read about “Overall quality score” brush it off because it pertains to AdWords. Although it is true that AdWords buyers must maintain a high overall quality score, so must websites in the organic SERP listings. I tell people to review their websites as if they were setting them up for an actual AdWords campaign or if they were getting prepared for a manual review from someone at Google.
You want to make sure there are no grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors on your website. You want to make sure that there is no misleading information on your website and no misleading links. Your keywords should be relevant to the content on your website.
If you are linking to any type of affiliate, CPA, or other type of site that is monetized, make sure that site has a high overall quality score. Avoid ad spam at all costs. It used to work sixteen months ago but times have changed. Nowadays, three ads on a web page are considered by some SEO pundits to be in the ad spam danger zone and they are known to report such websites to Google. Do I agree with them? Not hardly! But you have to learn how to properly balance the number of your ads as well as the ad placement.
*Concerning your money website, be careful not to use content lockers, pop ups, pop unders, toolbars or any type of software application that automatically installs on a person’s computer once they land on your website. If you do, be prepared to be slammed if your site receives a manual review.
*If your site is slow loading, you need to switch web hosts, change platforms or otherwise find out why your website is having this issue. This is one of those metrics that is somewhat ambiguous because judging a website’s speed is a subjective matter. What may seem slow to you may be super fast to someone else.
Take Care Of Your On Page SEO
Anyone who has been doing SEO for a while will tell you that Google has produced a number of SEO manuals, tutorials and videos to help webmasters. The common theme in this information is that Google is holding each Webmaster responsible for taking care of their on page SEO. What is Google looking for? What are some of the things that can set off the Google algorithm alarms? What could potentially cause you get a manual review?
- Right off the top, you need to check to make sure that you have clean coding on your website. In other words, your website needs to be W3C validated. You can use this site to run any necessary checks.
- Do not post spun content on your website. You may be the greatest spinner in the world but when a competitor is gunning for you, they will find your spun content. When it comes to your money sites, your content needs to be unique, high quality and relevant.
- Do not engage in “Keyword Density” overkill. Two and three years ago, keyword density was the big SEO calling card. If you wanted to outrank your competitors, many SEO pundits urged site owners to engage in keyword stuffing. Those days are over. Google now views that practice as being, “SEO over optimization” with possibly “an intent” to manipulate the search engine rankings.
- Remove, correct and clean up any all dead links on your site. You can use this site for that purpose. In the eyes of Google; dead/broke links are a no no!
- Avoid excessive advertisements. If you want a quick way to raise eyebrows, just splash your website with a combination of ads from Adsense, Commission Junction, Infolink, ClickBank and a few other affiliate or CPA programs.
- Avoid OB links to websites that may potentially raise a red flag. That means no linking to Google Cash programs, cash gifting websites, and illegitimate free giveaway websites or to any type of site that may raise suspicion.
- Your site needn’t be one hundred pages, a thousand pages or more but you need to accept the fact that thin sites are viewed in a negative light. What is a thin site? There is no real general consensus but suffice it to say that one to five pages that have around three hundred words each is a pretty thin website. Keep in mind, pages such as: privacy, about us, contact us, disclaimers and various other notices do not count towards the page count.
- You should have good interlinking between the pages on your site, (e.g., anchored text links from your inner pages going to other inner pages and anchored text links going from your home page to your inner pages).
Take Care Of Your Off Page SEO
Throughout this site, you can find me talking about GOLD Genuine Overall Link Diversity. What is GOLD? It is the exact opposite of unnatural linking practices. Genuine Overall Link Diversity means that you have links from an assortment of venues. These links are going to vary in PR, anchor text, link types, and velocity and link volume. There is also going to be a mixture of “No Follow links” mixed in with your Do Follow links.
The funny thing is; the top SEO professionals never deviated away from GOLD, not even when everyone else was running around touting how HPBL networks were the next best thing since automobile was invented. If you listen to certain SEO pundits, they will tell you not to waste your time with backlinks from directories, statistical sites, whois sites and other low PR sites.
On the surface, their advice seems sterling. However, what you need to realize is that those types backlinks help to provide your website with GOLD. If the only IB backlinks pointing to your site are PR 4s, PR5s and Pr 6s, that is about as unnatural as you can get. To avoid triggering any of Google’s unnatural link detection alarms, you need to practice Genuine Overall Link Diversity at all times.