How To Beat Google’s Updates
For years, members of the online gambling industry – operators and gambling affiliates alike – have been searching for those missing links that will boost them up to Page 1 for their chosen keywords, yet few have stumbled across them. After all, how many white-hat, content-relevant websites can there be that aren’t already swarming with outbound links, or that aren’t owned by webmasters ready to attach premium price tags that only a few can afford to purchase?
It seems recently that many people are complaining about unexplained drops in ranking, so I wanted to just outline a few reasons why this could have happened and a few suggestions as to how to resolve them.
With the Google Panda update having been implemented recently, many article directories have been re-evaluated by Google and penalized for effectively ‘harbouring SEO-articles,’ or in effect, being primarily compiled from articles that lack unique content, quality or a basic understanding of the chosen language.
FIX: It doesn’t take much time to look over articles written for you by a self-quoted ‘Article Marketer’ and ensure that the language flows and it is unique. Copyscape is a great way of doing this and can often stop you paying for anything that has already been used elsewhere. Also keep an eye out for sites like Ezine who are trying to ‘redeem’ themselves by adding new terms and conditions to their sites such as a minimum word count and unlinking dead links faster, something Google is sure to appreciate.
One of the more successful tools in passing link-juice to your main site – these can provide great assistance in boosting you up the ranks. However, sites which have been left sitting on the side without any unique content change will now effectively be … well rubbish. Google is stamping down on anything that has spammy links, mass advertising or poor quality content.
FIX: Try to update your link sites monthly with a fresh article or a rewrite of the content. This may be hard to do if you have hundreds of them, but just remember, one good link is worth 1000 bad ones!
One of the most overlooked parts of buying links in bulk is an influx of unnatural links to your site from a single IP address. This can also be a nightmare if that site is then de-valued by Google or the site is blacklisted as it can then destroy your entire SEO campaign, or more importantly, damage the reputation of your site to Google.
FIX: Although they are hard to find, there are still links out there to be bought that are content-relevant and worthwhile. Try to spread your links over different sites and across different IP addresses so you are always backed up should the worse happen. Adult sites are often overlooked by the majority but Google has been known to allow these as relevant to gambling sites!
It appears at first glance that the Google Panda update has increased the importance of videos in its’ ranking. Sites such as hulu.com, fox.com and reelz.com have almost doubled in traffic numbers and all of them are predominantly video sites. It is also clear that over the last few updates, Social Media is going to play a large part in establishing your website as a long-term contender for the top pages. Google+ is seemingly a hidden insight into the future of Google’s mindset and is something worth looking at.
FIX: If you are not already established as a business identity on Facebook, Twitter and building a Social Media presence on Google+, get started. For the hour or so it takes to create an account, it will benefit you in the long-run and provide you with a larger audience to reach your website
Remember that the most recent Google updates have been designed to simulate a human’s view rather than a robotic image capture. They are also site-wide rather than just page-focussed which means if a few of your pages are failing to adhere to the rules – your entire site can be punished!
Get rid of pages with mass-advertising or low levels of unique content – especially empty pages that just serve as a link to others.
Affiliate feeds are great as long as they are used on pages with high content base. Remember that these feeds are, in effect, duplicate content. Ensure to lower the risk of damage by putting some text next to them – even if it is an explanation of what they are.
Most importantly – keep searching for that missing link. As we mentioned above it only takes one good link to do what 1000 bad ones are doing for you. Admittedly we’re still searching but we’ll let you know as soon as we find them.
Daniel Laming spent over two years working as an affiliate manager for GTech and Red Interactive, but recently decided to pursue a role as a full-time affiliate working on website BigGainsNoPains with a team of 5, focusing on Online Casino and Online Bingo offers.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2011 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.