Avoid Drops in Search Engine Ranking after Google Penquin
The most recent Google update that has sent some web masters scrambling is Penguin. A few months back, Google started shutting down questionable blogs and link networks in an effort to thwart those they deemed as using ‘black hat’ methods.
What are black hat tactics?
Black hat (as opposed to white hat), are methods of tricking search engines into thinking content is worthy of search traffic. The goal of search engines is to provide searchers with quality relevant content. Black hat tactics are usually exploited by people trying to make money selling services to quickly boost a websites traffic. An example of a black hat tactic is buying lots of inbound links from random sources. White hat tactics, on the other hand are good practices such as guest blogging or leaving relevant and helpful comments on other websites.
What are Link Networks?
Link networks are sites that are created as legitimate sites first to build SEO ranking. Then these sites are turned into paid link networks, black hat users will then pay for a specific number of links from these sites.
For this Google search update and all future ones, avoiding these two SEO methods is very important.
The Penguin update was created with the intention of removing many of these black hat problems from the web. Many link networks were de-indexed by Google, this effectively shut down the sites and cut off web traffic.
Although one can’t control who links to their website, when Google sees a multitude of questionable links from unrelated sources it puts up a red flag that something isn’t right.
From Google’s Webmaster Guidelines:
“The sites that link to you can provide context about the subject matter of your site, and can indicate its quality and popularity. However, some webmasters engage in link exchange schemes and build partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites. This is in violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines...”
Two things that are important to avoid:
1. Links to suspected spammers or web manipulators
2. Too many reciprocal links with others (link exchanges)
The safest practices to increase search engine rankings are not always the easiest but Google rewards those who put in the work. The advice that all experts give is to create great content. This is why blogging has grown in popularity so much, blogs are a great platform for creating content that people will want to share. Also making your content solve a problem for readers will help connect them with you in searches. Other great content that can generate buzz are info graphics, videos, and ebooks.
Social media is also an important part of ranking in search engines. Getting attention for the content that has been created is easier when shared on social media platforms, this also increases chances that subject authorities will see and share the content.
All of these steps will begin to establish a site and make the information desired by searchers. Popular content will be linked to and as popularity increases, higher ranking sites will link into yours. This is the safe and secure method of increasing search ranking and protecting your work for the future Google updates.