“The fear of Google penalty is the beginning of useful and engaging content.”
How many updates so far has Google rolled out since February 2011 when panda was released?
Sorry, I’m no longer current on the exact number, but I think we’ve had major and minor updates.
The truth is that website owners and content marketers have been listening to a whole lot of noise from every nook and cranny of the web.
In fact, smart SEOs are developing software and plugins to help you dominate Google as quickly as possible.
Here’s what I think: 75% of what you read online about Google penalty is just a myth. In other words, such news is out to drive fear into you and cause you to create less, while watching blindly for the next available stone from the number 1 search engine.
And to help you regain your vigor, grow your business, drive more qualified traffic and increase your income, here are the 8 deadly Google updates myths you should ignore. You’ll find fixes to all the myths so that you can truly get results as you take action. Let’s do it:
1. Myth: Stop building links
A lot of people have said you should stop building links, especially when you experience a drop in your rankings or got penalized.
But this is a myth because Google never said outright that you should quit all link building practices.
Did you know that Matt Cutts who preaches against link manipulation has a total of 33239 backlinks according to backlinkwatch.com?
What about all the backlinks that Google.com, YouTube.com, Blogger.com and all their portfolio websites have?
They all thrive and are respected not only because of the value they provide, but the number of places the sites/platforms are mentioned. That’s link building. So when next someone tells you to stop building links, don’t listen to them…
What you should do: Building links is not the problem, and definitely not the reason for penalty. It’s the “manner” by which such links are gained, and the “trust” level of the referring site. I’m sure you know what type of sites to target right now.
2. Myth: Don’t use exact anchor texts
The penguin update came & surprised every website owners. As a result of that, news started flying and getting materials on the topic was sure, with a quick Google search. However, exact anchor texts still helps in ranking web pages, and in overall SEO value of your website.
What you should do: Whenever you want to use exact anchor texts to build links, make sure that 1). You link from trusted sites with high Domain Authority 2). Use variations of the exact anchor texts e.g make money online, make money on the internet, making money online site, make more money on net etc. 3). Make sure your anchor text is relevant to the content you’re linking to, and vice versa.
3. Myth: write long posts
I love this one. Detailed posts are my favorite when it comes to establishing your blog as authoritative and useful, because you get to address a particular topic/subject leaving no stone unturned.
But after Google started rolling out their updates especially Panda 4.0, bloggers embarked on another content adventure – spending 5 – 10 hours to write a single post because they think it’s the only way to boost their rankings, enhance engagement and dominate their niche.
Does it mean that longer posts will get you more results: qualified traffic and income?
Yes and No.
What you should do: Whether you’re writing 600-word content or 2000+ words, you should provide immense value for the reader. I recently read 305-word post and was blown away. That post garnered over 100 comments and 235 tweets. As I write this post, that so-called short post is sitting at number 2 in Google homepage.
Final note: If you want to write a long post, make it useful, engaging and relevant to your target audience. When you’re short of time and want to quickly craft a shorter post, solve a particular problem and call for action instantly.
4. Myth: Publish new post daily
If your blog is fairly new with no active community, publishing new post on a daily basis will seem like the photo above – read reader. Just you!
Avoid that. You know how mythilicious (I invented that word) this particular one is. A lot of people still believe that publishing a new post on their blog daily will boost their rankings, traffic and perhaps bring more money for them. Is that truth?
No, it’s a BIG FAT lie. In fact, the rule of thumb to abide by is that you publish once; a useful and interesting content at your blog weekly – then spend the remaining 6 days marketing that particular post.
That’s how to grow a blog and improve your online business. If you’ve a new idea that’s worth reading, instead of publishing the post on your blog, find a popular high-traffic blog and get featured there. You’ll definitely drive more traffic and position your blog for success.
5. Myth: Nofollow links are irrelevant
Has anyone ever told you to avoid nofollow links?
Even before Google starting updating their algorithm to the level where they’re right now, nofollow links had been relegated to the backyard by some SEO folks.
Of course, the difference between a dofollow and nofollow link is that the latter passes a link juice to your web pages and in the eyes of search engines, your site is valued higher, while the former doesn’t pass link juice.
But here is the deal: You shouldn’t neglect/ignore nofollow links. In search engine algorithms and database structuring, if all your links passes juice (dofollow) to your web pages, you stand a greater chance of getting penalized. But if your web pages links are mixed up with both N/D follow links, you’re on the right track.
Also, nofollow links are usually from high PR websites; trusted, high Domain Authority with active communities. That’s the major reason why you can’t be rewarded on a platter for dropping your link, because the founders/authors have invested so much to get to where they’re right now.
More importantly, when you want to quickly index a new content; maybe a niche site or your recent post, getting a high PR nofollow link from Facebook, Digg, CNN or Stumbleupon can help. Search spiders will discover the link within 12 hours. Once indexed, you can now top up with dofollow links to improve your organic rankings and traffic.
6. Myth: Rank number 1, make more money
Have you believed this myth? I have a strong conviction that you have. You and I know that ranking number 1 in Google homepage can bring you more clicks and traffic. But it’s definitely not going to bring more money. If you want to make more money when you rank first in Google, you’ll have to work on conversion.
Surprisingly, I’ve experimented and drawn a conclusion that content headlines are what really determine the number of clicks a particular result page gets.
For instance, if your headline is weak and you rank first, but mine is powerful, emotional and well structured, I’ll get more clicks even if I rank third or fifth.
Which amongst these headlines will get more clicks, irrespective of their positions in Google, when both of them show up in Google homepage?
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7. Myth: Exact match domain names doesn’t rank anymore
In October 2012, Matt Cutts announced the algo change that affected a lot of low-quality EMDs. When that news went live, social media networks were bubbling and fear crept in.
Website owners couldn’t explain the next move to make and niche sites entrepreneurs (I’m one of them) complained bitterly. I found out when I read over 500+ new threads at Warrior Forum.
Exact match domain names used to rank very quickly in the past, does it still rank today?
Absolutely – IT DOES.
Google didn’t ban exact match domain names from ranking, they only penalized “LOW-QUALITY” EMDs. I still have 2 of my 3-month old niche sites with EMDs positioned at number 3 & 6 in Google first page.
Here’s what you should do: When you register an exact match domain name for your website, don’t build links to that page until you’ve published at least 10 posts. Make the site active, get social signals first, then optimize for search engines but don’t stuff keywords.
When you use EMD for your website, you’ve to vary your primary keyword. For instance, if the primary keyword you want to rank in Google is, “best flashlight online.”
If you decide to use that as your domain name, then target something different when setting up ALL-IN-ONE SEO Pack. For your homepage title, use something like, “Top Rated Flashlight Online.”
If you optimize your content and domain using this simple trick, you’re telling Google search spider to credit you accordingly because you truly understood who your target audience is, and what they’re searching for – not just the primary one on your domain name.
8. Myth: Long-tail keywords doesn’t drive huge traffic
Long-tail keywords are easier to target because of their low competition in search engines. You can literally get to the top of Google if your long-tail keyword has zero or less than 1000 low PR and DA (domain authority) competing pages.
But oftentimes, we hold the notion that long-tail keywords don’t generate decent organic traffic. But that isn’t true because the word “decent” might mean 100 visitors to me, while for the corporate website owner with huge budget; they need up to 100,000 unique visitors to expand. So it’s relative.
Here’s the deal: When you target several (20 – 100) easy to rank, long-tail keywords and you successfully build high PR and relevant links to them using the right anchor texts as explained above, you can be seeing up to 500 – 3,000 daily organic traffic.
Also, you’ve to remember that each long-tail keyword has more than 10 variations wrapped inside it. If you target a key phrase such as, “best over the counter remedy for acne,” you shouldn’t be surprised when Google shows up your content pages for keywords such as, “remedy for acne, best otc acne remedy, over the counter acne remedy” etc.
So, long-tail keywords can be a source of reliable traffic for you. You just have to be consistent at it, and don’t raise red flags when building links.
Don’t hinder your growth
Usefulness is the language your target audience understands. Once your content can engage and solve their problems, it doesn’t matter what Google does, the news you hear or how terrific the upcoming Google update is, you’re on the winning side.
Right now, everyone and their dog have become SEO experts, releasing products and writing blogs, but only few people are truly worth listening to.
Remember, don’t let anyone spoon-feed you with the wrong information because whatever you allow into your head CAN rule your entire business, and life in general.
Effective SEO simply boils down to knowing your audience, creating useful and engaging content and optimizing it to naturally get trustworthy links, to further boost your search engine rankings.
At the end of the day, you’re getting results for your efforts and changing the world for good, one step at a time.