Understanding Algorithmic Changes vs. Penalties
June 19, 2012
There was a lot of very cool information leaking into the blogosphere from SMX this past week. My number one takeaway was a quote from Matt Cutts speech dealing with the changes to Google’s organic search results: “We look at it as something designed to tackle low-quality content. It started out with Panda, and then we noticed that there was still a lot of spam and Penguin was designed to tackle that. It’s an algorithmic change, but when we use a word like “penalty,” we’re talking about a manual action taken by the web spam team — it wasn’t that” - You can find the article here
. This is great news for those who are trying to recover from a drop in rankings. If we were trying to recover from a manual penalty that Google had hit us with, we would be taking a slightly different course of action. However, Matt’s speech let it be know that it was an algorithmic change so we can deduce that our drop in rankings was due to a decrease in our positive ranking factors or an increase in our negative ranking factors. It really is this simple, once we acknowledge that this is the case one of two things needs to be done. Either increase our positive ranking factors or work on decreasing our negative ranking factors. To borrow a equation from accounting: A) Assets = Liabilities + Owners Equity
switched around B) Owner's Equity = Assets - Liabilities
for our purposes C) Our Rankings = Positive Ranking Factors - Negative Ranking Factors
Instead of looking at these issues one by one we are going to integrate them into a quick, comprehensive plan. Dealing With The Content That We Currently Have On Our Site. Assets:
All the content that you have currently have posted on your site needs to be viewed as a current asset. You need to go through and evaluate all of your old content and decide if it holds up to your quality standards. If it does, you need to breath new life into it with two step process:
- The first step is to start searching for content on other blogs that is similar to yours and place a comment after the post linking back to your content. I’m not talking about spamming blog comments here, I’m just talking about finding three places to leave and intelligent, well written, value adding comment. This will give your old post a fresh backlink as well as let Google know that is still of value.
- The second step is to find a Q and A site such as Quora and and answer a 2 questions and at the end of your answer link back to a post of yours that is relevant to the question asked.
If there are some old pieces of content on your site that are really thin, sloppily done or no longer useful, go ahead and delete them. This type of content no longer of value to you and is actually hurting you. Building New Content
- The first step is to create one new piece of content per week and use blogger outreach to promote it. Show Google that you are still alive and posting fresh content and then go out and let people know about and in an attempt to gain links, social shares and social following.
- The second step is to build an audience so you actually have people to link to the content you are building in step one. Guest posting is their first step in the process. Your goal is one guest post per week.
Links And Social Shares Assets: Reach out to people that have linked/shared your content in the past and let them know have been hit by one of Google’s updates and ask for their help. Say someone linked to a post of yours, update that post with fresh, useful content and then ask them to link to it again or share it across their social network. Your social network is one of the biggest assets you have right now as a way to promote your new content, guest posts and old post you are trying to reinvigorate. Liabilities: Building up you link assets will be a time consuming process and the sooner you get started the sooner you will start to see the benefits of your hard work. However, long term results don’t pay this month's bills and you lost 40% of your traffic equalling a 40% drop in come. What can you do that will have the fastest (fastest - not instant) results.
For me the easiest way to get all this done is to know your "why" and get busy.