Search engine marketing seems to be becoming trickier and trickier. While ten years ago you could get away with keyword spamming, nowadays that sort of behavior will get you kicked right off of Google’s servers. While being banned by Google is not necessarily the end of the world, it can be extremely detrimental to your business, especially if you are new or don’t have a large customer base already.
Today what we are talking about is the old Google slap. One day your site is ranked number one or at least on the first page for a Google term and then seemingly overnight, or within just a few days, you are ranked 1,001. You are like “what happened, what did I do wrong?” Don’t panic we’ll talk about some of the main reasons why Google may ban your search engine marketing campaign, and how you can correct it.
Google Won’t Tell You Why
We speak from experience on this topic because it has happened to us before. You hear about other people but when it happens to you it is a little more personal and far less delightful. Anyways, assessing the problem; what the heck just happened, unfortunately you are SOL because Google is not going to tell you the exact cause. They are not going to tell you, “well you change this on that page and all of a sudden you are not really number one anymore however if you were to change it like that all of a sudden you would be number one again.” Easy huh? They are not going to tell you anything like that.
So be sure to read all of that stuff before you submit the stuff and make sure you are not if violation of that stuff. Definitely read their Webmaster guidelines very closely. If you do get a response from the form they may tell you your homepage is in violation or something and it is really tough to know exactly what they mean and what exactly is in violation but do you very best, make sure you are following those guidelines to the letter – no exceptions.
Use Google Webmaster Tools
Use Webmaster tools to track your keyword rankings. They tell you what your keywords rank and show you nice pretty graphs, and sometimes they drop – not a good thing – but you want to keep watching it. You want to know what is going on the Google front and how they see your site. Keep in mind the change in page rank could be just a blimp, they could be just tweaking stuff and changing gears like one of those semis changing gears. And actually we have seen our page rank drop before it moved up two points so don’t overreact about page rank changes.
It is like public companies versus private companies. The latter can focus on strategic as much as possible and be patient. In our experience if you are penalized by Google it can take as much as a year to get back to it. Which begs the questions: are you in it just to make a quick buck? You started it today and you want it to be successful in 6 months or it isn’t worth it to you? Then maybe it is time to do something else, start another site, whatever. But if you are in it for the long hull, be in it for the long hull, be the best you can be at it.
Understand The Rules
It’s best for you to familiarize yourself with their’s rules before you even start building a blog. Google will often ban or penalize your website without even giving a warning, and it may take a lot of online business owners a while to even realize that they aren’t coming up on the search engine. Usually it’s when businesses notice a dramatic drop in their customer base that they start digging into it further, and realize that they are no longer coming up in search results.
No Black Hat
Don’t engage in black hat marketing tactics, no link triangles, no buying text links on other people sites. They will catch on to that stuff. Also, make sure that you have fresh content on your website regularly and just keep building your brand. That is what you got to do, keep building your brand and eventually Google will come back around.
We kind of go back to this every time when we talk about how to get Google and the search engines to notice you. They are spending billions of dollars to weed out the crap from the useful stuff. Every now and then when the change you may get flagged along with the crap even though your stuff’s not crap but if you keep building your brand and doing the right stuff and good stuff and more people link to you eventually they are figure out “not crap, let’s put them back in.” So, are you in it for the long run and do you really mean it? And if so you probably want to keep going with it. So what are you going to do, you have assessed it now you are going to track your results – you are gonna try to fix it.