The “Monthly Moz-Letter” almost got deleted today on my crusade to clean out my Gmail inbox. Glad I decided to open it – I almost missed this gold nugget from the Rand(om) Question section:
One last thing I’ll say about Panda in particular – you need to be willing to take dramatic action to respond. The sites I’ve seen recover are those who’ve done a complete redesign and a refresh of their content, making things so wonderfully amazing that they stand out as the best result for the query. Those who’ve made iterative attempts to reduce ads a little or throw some extra paragraphs on a page so as to hopefully get over the Panda algo generally haven’t.
My take away? The huge light bulb moment SEO insight? If you want to rank first in Google in a post-Panda world, you’ve got to be a resource the best resource on the topic you’re targeting. Lead-aggregation sites (one of our biggest local rankings enemies in the moving industry) can’t just add tons of bogus content with a few keyword mentions, and increase their link buying budget and hope to outrank legit, helpful sites. But this also means that the websites of legit, authoritative businesses might not rank well if those biz owners don’t share their knowledge , and instead get caught up in the “Everyone needs to be on every social network to talk about themselves as much as possible” scamvice. Self promotion across social networks is not the same as being a helpful resource contributing to the betterment of your industry. I’m worried for the thousands of mom & pop businesses across the country that might miss that.
Mom & pop, if you’re reading this, here’s the best SEO advice I’ve got – be the best, most authoritative, most comprehensive, most helpful resource in the world on the topic you’re selling. Give all that helpful information away for free so that it spreads easily (Seth Godin shout-out). Then people will want to visit your site, want to find it in Google, Bing, Yahoo, Blekko, etc and, in turn, those search engines will want to deliver your site to the people using their search engines.
An SEO friend, Alec, emailed me after reading my theory on a “relativity factor” in the Google algorithm. He had to respectfully disagree and explained why. I loved his point of view and asked if I could post his thoughts here as a guest post. He also has an intriguing article on the side effects of too much sleep over at the Healthy Way. Check out his side of the discussion and let me know your thoughts in the comments…
I just ran across your last post and being my usual contrary self, I have to disagree with you when you say a “one-size-fits-all approach wouldn’t work.” In this case I think it would. Market forces make it more equatable and eliminate the need for “fair metrics relative to [each] industry”. Besides since when is G fair? (but that is another discussion)
Big G wouldn’t necessarily have to have another algo factor for movers or any other industry (isn’t each industry unique?) as the industry itself will create their own relative effect on one another’s rankings by their willingness or ability to participate in each of the ranking factors.
The recent Google algorithm updates (yes plural, if you’ve been reading the right sources), have many in a SEO panic, scrambling to add unique content to their sites, trying to write and re-write catchy phrases & titles, spamming the web with their infographics about not spamming the web with infographics.
I know, I know. My stomach turned a bit too when I got emails asking if I’d heard about the most recent Google drama – the same stomach twinge I get when I drive by a cop, even when I’m not speeding. But the same reality is true – there’s no need to panic if you’re not breaking Google’s “laws”. I’m not a content spammer or farmer or scraper. I write my own posts on this blog. If I ever invite a guest to write, it will be something original. I write original content for all my clients. And I try to make sure it’s content worth reading – informative and helpful, or in the very least comical.
I loved the statement made in a recent article that said something like, “Google is turning the web into a jungle” in reference to the thousands of pages of junk that spammers are churning out trying to rank something in the great search engine. I wouldn’t say it’s Google’s fault, but the web is definitely starting to feel very crowded by thousands of useless sites.
SEO’s reading this – those of us not speeding, or at least not much more then 5 or 10 mph over the limit, keep up your good work. Produce excellent content and maintain safe and legitimate linking campaigns. Google is getting better at weeding out the junk, which means black hat techniques will not always reign against white hat.