Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Recovery After The Penguin Update

Recovery After Penguin?

Published on by: James H. Hobson

I'll start this piece by saying that our agency supports algorithm updates such as Panda and Penguin. Every SEO practitioner knows that there is, and has been for a long time, a LOT of black-hat SEO work happening. These updates are improvements to Google's ability to disempower the hacks in our industry - which improves our industry's reputation and increases the value of white-hat SEO companies. Unfortunately, there are some innocent businesses that are going to feel the pain from (presume unknowingly) hiring black-hat SEO hacks. These businesses who hired the black-hat hacks are now frantically seeking answers on how to recover after the Penguin update.

The Reality of Penguin

Penguin essentially nullified a volume of sites, including networks of sites, that were used to deliver super spammy links. There have been quite a number of outsource services which build and maintain sites that exist for the sole purpose of allowing these companies to generate revenue for providing a quantity of inbound links for a fee. This practice has helped to boost the rankings for a huge number of sites, but delivers no real value for the average consumer (web users). Because these sites have been neutralized, any website that had benefitted from these links has now had the benefit removed, thus the ranking drop. Obviously, the extent of your ranking loss is in proportion to the percentage of inbound links that you have coming from these link spam sites.

It is unexpected that the Panda Update will have any impact on local search results, although some people do create links to their Google Places pages. If this is a side problem for your business you should explore types of Google Places help.

How To Recover

If your site has been hit by Penguin, our theory for recovery after the Penguin update is not too complicated, although the work involved probably will be extensive. Effectively what has happened is that your site has been pushed far back down the line. This means that you will need to spend a great deal of time, and associated costs, to replace the lost black-hat work with white-hat work. Make certain that the new SEO work is in total compliance with Google Webmaster Guidelines.

A Telling Sign

If your site has experienced a significant loss of organic rankings, our recommendation is to check the rankings of your current and past SEO providers. Chances are quite good that the work they did for your site is the same as they did for themselves. SEO companies that have also dropped substantially in rankings are almost certain to be, or have been, black-hat SEO hacks, and they are the cause of your problem - not Google.

Your Choice of SEO Services

Although it should be obvious by now, if you are working with a SEO company whose rankings have plummeted, you should discontinue their services and replace them with a SEO company that was not negatively impacted by Penguin. Waiting for a Google miracle does no good, so take action now and recover from Penguin and move forward. If you have a relatively new SEO company, the odds are that they are not the cause of your problem, and you should stay with them and see how things go for the next six months or so.

What To Expect

Almost anything is possible. Certainly Google will continually roll out new updates, and rankings will change. It's reasonable to expect that if you have a competent SEO company, that stays current on industry best practices, your site should do well. Obviously, SEO is a very competitive environment so your actual results are always relative to how your own efforts stack up to your competitors. Our advice is that quality always beats quantity, so do the right things, in the right measure, and things will be good.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Why Rich Snippets Matter

How To Use Rich Snippets

Published on by: James H. Hobson

The interest in utilizing Rich Snippets is definitely on the rise. A large percentage of web designers and developers have no idea this exists, much less on how to add Rich Snippets to a website. In fact, a vast number of the smaller internet marketing companies do not understand the value of rich snippets, or how to implement this valuable tool for their clients benefit. We believe that all internet marketing companies should be up to speed on this and using it whenever possible.

The bright and beautiful Selena Narayanasamy has created a great visual guide on using Rich Snippets. We think this has a lot of value for people that provide or need professional internet marketing. We are posting this without a formal endorsement of the information as a whole but definitely feel it is worth sharing.

Guide to Rich Snippets by BlueGlass Interactive on SEOmoz
Visual Guide to Rich Snippets on SEOmoz created by BlueGlass Interactive.