While there is still a lot of buzz going on about the Hummingbird and Penguin 2.1 algorithm updates, and how it affects ranking. On October 3rd, Barry Schwartz posted a blog about specific dates where there were noticeable ranking changes and conducted a survey asking how SEOs and webmasters were affected. He discusses the results of the change in the video below.
Barry Schwartz Discusses a Poll On How Rankings Were Affected By Penguin 2.1
There were over 1600 responses to the poll. These were the results:
- 63% of the respondents said that their site was hurt bad.
- 21% said that their site had no change at all.
- 8% said that their website recovered from the previous penguin update.
- 6.2% that their rank gained with more traffic.
This shouldn’t be surprising to most of us. When we look at historical SEO tactics, it’s easy to see that yesterday’s white-hat is today’s grey-hat/black-hat. Guest posting used to be one of the most effective ways of manually building links, but even that has become more challenging. So with these new updates, what do I do next? Is SEO dead?
The Guidelines Never Changed
As SEOs we’ve all tried to “manipulate” rankings. I mean… isn’t that part of our job? Some of us have tried riskier tactics than others. Now, it’s just getting to the point where these old tactics aren’t working for us anymore. Sigh… so what do I do now? The same thing that Google has been saying since the very beginning! Create great content and let links build naturally!
Yeah… yeah… yeah… so you’re one of those “link building is dead” guys? No, I love link building. In fact, it’s what I am most passionate about. Link building isn’t dead, just the meaning has changed.
What Link Building Means Today
With today’s link building there are some very specific “Dos” and “Don’ts.” Let’s go over a few, shall we?
Link Building Don’ts
- Keyword Filled Anchor Text- Instead, use your brand in your anchor text.
- Guest post byline links with keyword anchor text. Again, use your brand name or domain name.
- Buying links- This has been the case for a long time now, but people are still doing it.
- Blog Networks- Google is on these like the DEA is on drug cartels. Stay away from them.
- Press Releases and Ezine Articles- You should read John Lincolns article discussing this.
There are a lot of don’ts… in summary think about it like this. If you can buy it or you can manually submit it, then it’s probably going to hurt your rankings or it’s not going to benefit you much.
Link Building Do’s
- Write beautiful, amazing, and compelling content.
- Build an outreach network of people in your industry.
- Focus on building a strong social following.
- Link to other authorities in your industry.
- Don’t be afraid to discuss your opinions.
- Be an innovator, not a follower!
In summary, the guidelines with Google have not changed. When they warned us, we did not head the warnings. Google’s focus and goal has been the same since day 1, and that is to provide it’s user’s with the best experience possible. They are doing a good job at it. So, follow the guidelines, focus on building your content for the users, network like crazy, and be social!