The jury (google) has come back with its verdict and it has sent paid link networks to the gallows. In short, the so called old fashioned SEO professionals are back in the game.
For the last two weeks, SEO headlines news have been buzzing with stories about how link buying sites have finally been axed. To some this came as a surprise but by the way things were going on in the SEO world it was just a matter of time.
Many webmasters and some SEO experts had ran away from white hat SEO strategies. But can you blame? For as little as $50, webmasters saw their site rankings soaring upwards and so were their traffic and cash.
People had forgotten about building online business relationships with other bloggers and webmasters since they could easily get backlinks cheaply. Researching and generating quality content was thrown off the window thanks to paid link networks.
It was not hard to see sites that were adding no value in terms of content ranking so high. And any attempt to beat them seemed so futile because of the many backlinks they had. On further investigation, you discover even the anchor text been used were not related to their site content.
Sites that used black hat tactics to rank got their first warning shot when Panda was released. The writing was on the wall that it would not be long before underhand SEO marketing strategist would be punished.
Google Venice that took effect on February 2012 was long overdue. SEO professionals had become lazy. On the other hand, webmasters who only used white hat techniques were struggling to rank.
The reason for saying it was long overdue was because catching this paid link network sites was easy. For them to pull in customers, link buying sites had to place ads on advertising programs like Google Adwords. If you ask be, these sites should have been arrested a long time ago and the internet would have been a safer place to live.
By the look of things, google has managed to some great extent to level the playing field. With the death of link buying, now SEO experts can revert to telling their clients to go back to publishing rich content.
Link popularity had moved away from building backlinks from sites with related topics. Thumps up to Google, they have woken SEO professionals from their slumber.
Blog network sites that sell backlinks brought with them some problems. These networks used span articles within their blogs and sites. This meant that their content added no value to internet users who are considered by search engine the most important.
Are you are victim of blog networks? Please share with us how Google Venice has affected you. Submit your comments in the section provided below this post.
The big question to ask; is there hope for sites that used to buy backlinks? What about SEO specialists who were advising their clients to pay for backlinks in order to rank, do they have a future?
Yes and No is the answer. In business there are ups and downs. Falling is not the issue for we are all set to someday hit rock bottom. What matters most is what you do after you fall.
Gone with the wind are the days when you would lazy around and still rank high. In short, you will only rise from the ashes if you get back to the basics of SEO.
Slowly we are going back to the good old days when the internet was filled with valuable and insightful content.
This is what you need to do if you are a victim of Google Venice:
Go back to social media marketing: For the tenth time, anyone that ignores social media marketing is leaving lots of cash on the table. If you have relied so much on SEO to generate traffic it is high time you also thought of social marketing.
Open an account on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. In case you are not aware, there is a new kid in the block going by the name Google Plus. While on these sites try and build relationships by offering your expertise and you will definitely get a loyal fan base and customers.
Social networking sites will provide you with quality backlinks and direct referral traffic if you follow the right social media marketing strategies.
Monitors your site traffic analytics: Time and time again, legit SEO professionals advised webmasters to monitor their site traffic. Though webmasters adhered to this rule, they only cared about the amount of traffic coming to their websites and blogs.
Now it is time to further examine your site traffic statistics by checking visitor loyalty, return visitors, bounce rate and the number of page views per visitor.
These are elements signify that people are spending more time on your site and thus boost your conversion rate. There are 3 ways of achieving all of the above:
- Working on your call to action strategy.
- Generating high quality content.
- Onsite optimization where you link together your relevant pages
In addition, you can enhance your site appearance and performance by uploading quality video content. People love images especially moving pictures. Adding videos will ensure people spend more time on your site thus increase online sales.
Video marketing is so powerful and it is a wonder that SEO professionals resulted to using underhand tactics like buying links. Uploading a video on YouTube is free and you will all agree with me that there are things you can only explain better on a video clip.
You don’t need to have a face like Brad Pitt to produce quality videos. You will be amazed there is a big audience out there just looking for what you have to offer.
The fact that motion pictures appeal to most people, getting backlinks as people share your videos means more link power to your site. Therefore, start creating video clips related to your niche and upload them on sites like Vimeo, YouTube, MetaCafe and Daily Motion just to mention a few.
Build an email list: Lucky are you if during the days your site was on page 1 you created an email list. As for those that didn’t, hope from now on you will devise a way of capturing your visitors contact details.
Having an email list is one of the best strategies of ensuring you continue making money even when SEO traffic dwindles. It can only take one email message of a new product to your opt-in list to make $100,000.
Do a site cleanup: If you ask me this you should have done when Panda Update was released. But it is never too late, go back and scrutinize each of your webpages and remove the ones with crappy content or have been over optimized.
If you see an opportunity to make a page better, kindly do it right away. Ensure all your individual webpages contain content that addresses the needs of your visitors comprehensively.
Try and remove all the backlinks from the paid link sites if possible.
Ensure your site loads faster: A factor of SEO that should not escape any webmaster is loading time. The faster your site loads the better it will be for you in terms of site ranking.
Besides, a site that loads faster also improves visitor experience thus resulting to a higher conversion rate.
Work on your site appearance: Most website owners shy away from altering their site appearance especially when they are ranking on page 1. This is because it may lead to disrupting their site visitors.
Now that you have been thrown backwards you should seize the opportunity to upload that beautiful template. Soon you will be heading back to page 1 and this time you want to make a real impact.
Listing on business directories: It’s been long since I came across an article discussing the importance of building backlinks from business directories. But from the look of things people will have no choice but to revert to directory sites.
The secret is to list your site on legit and top directories like Dmoz. But be careful not to have your links on paid directories that are there to help you in SEO ranking alone.
Apart from adding your website link on local directories, join online forums in your niche and participate actively in discussions. You can also build quality backlinks by posting relevant comments on blogs within your niche.
Connect with other webmasters and bloggers in your niche: I remember the days when SEO professionals used to advice their clients to build relationships with other webmasters and bloggers. This was good for building backlinks through guest blogging.
It is true that guest posting is not easy but the results are worth the effort. It may take time to get to top ranking through guest blogging but the day you get there it will be difficult to come down. Now is the time to foster relationships with other people in your niche, thus boost your link value through guest blogging.
Summary: With the death of link building through buying links, professionals in SEO who use white hat strategies can now breathe easy. If I’m not wrong, people using white hat strategies are the ones smiling all the way to the bank.
Before February 2012 the people who dominated SEO ranking were those who had the cash. Now that the playing field has been leveled we hope only quality content will appear in SERP’s.
Freelance writers too have a reason to smile, thanks to Google.
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Author: Stephen Kavita