It's Time To Raise Your Game!
April 25, 2011
Posted in E-Business Tips
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Speculating about Google's Panda algorithm change that Ken posted about back in February and its global rollout this month is pointless. Most folks, just like after most Google dances, are doing fine. (For example, total traffic across all SBI! sites is up, a testimonial to the overall quality and success of SBI! sites.)
However, for those sites that did experience a substantial traffic drop, the hurt is gut-wrenching. The natural reaction is to lash out at Google, to wonder "why me?". Meanwhile, those who are unaffected continue quietly working, oblivious to the controversies and even conspiracy theories swirling around the Web.
Impacted or not, it's time for all to do a detailed self-audit. Ifyour site hasbeen impacted, return to basics -- be very critical of your site.(If you're an SBIer, check off the self-audit steps listed in this TNT HQ article.)
If your site-audit does not uncover any specific causes, it's all the more upsetting. It's important to remember that what seems to be an arbitrary "rejection" by Google is, in fact, a mistake... a "false-positive." This type of error has, historically, righted itself over time as Google constantly moves to improve its algorithm. What to do in the meantime?
The best solution for this type of hurt is to keep moving forward, to focus on doing rather than speculating.
Don't get caught up in trying to over-analyze the situation. You have to keep on working through it until Google's algorithm catches back up to reality...
Unless you've truly overdone something wrong, this is not about "too much AdSense" or pages with a similar structure or "ad templates" (a very common thing on the web), etc., etc. Google's algo change is about identifying pap.
Review (or re-review) your site meticulously and make sure all sloppiness and gray areas are cleaned up. Improve anything that is borderline until you are proud of a particular article, a visitor contribution, a certain review, or whatever.
Have you verified that you have no outsourcing problems?
Do you have too many links coming in from one source, especially from the "too-easy" types of sources such as article-marketing?
Take a bit of time off from content creation to do a very careful site-audit, whether you're affected or not by Google's Panda algorithm.
Re-focus on the core concepts...
Add value and keep it real.
Diversify. Reduce your dependency on Google or any other search engine. Use more social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and build more inbound links from a wide range of quality, authoritative sites.
Don't get caught up in all the outside noise. You are a sample size of one. You cannot draw accurate conclusions from your site unless its faults are extremely apparent (ex., you are an obvious paraphraser).
Aside from rare and very specific circumstances, there is no way to out-think Google. Nor is there any need to. Google is not trying to over-think this. It's just trying to get better. So should you.
Think of this situation as a kind of exam, one that is never "final."
Keep working at making your site or blog as sharp, original and valuable as possible. If you've made some bad or even grayish moves, it's time for some "check-and-correct" efforts.