In the early days of the web, having great search engine optimization meant increased visibility for a business. Outranking the competition could lead to higher sales. Any leads that came in via the website were icing on the cake. Now, a strong web presence, leads and web-based revenue have become a vital part of business. In today’s world, the web represents a significant portion of even a brick-and-mortar’s revenue.
For companies such as ebay.com and retailmenot.com, losing Google’s traffic overnight due to a rule infraction can be a killer, but that is exactly what has happened in recent months. Ebay.com lost 33% of their organic traffic after being given a “manual penalty” from Google. Retailmenot.com lost 25% of their revenue, thanks to Google’s Panda 4 Update.
Other penalty stories and analysis continue rolling in after-the-fact. Only Google truly knows what eBay did wrong. Ebay employs some smart SEOs, but they may not truly know what everything to do – or undo. They can file a “reconsideration request”, and wait. But we can only guess when the penalty will be lifted. It’s unlikely that eBay will rise to its former position anytime soon, as the trick is up.
Reailmenot, which is, ironically, funded in part by Google Ventures, has overall guidelines for content quality they can try to adhere to more closely. But these Panda penalties are not always cut and dry, either.
SEO is becoming more and more about risk management. Could your business afford a substantial drop in rankings? Google’s formula is continually being updated and even practices that were recommended by Google in years past are now being penalized. Looking at Google’s future direction is more than a whimsical pastime for business leaders – it’s vital to ensuring future growth or survival.
- Create content that your prospects will take the time to read, share, and discuss.
- Market your content to other sites using social media, outreach and good old fashioned business development.
- Don’t get clever with Google. If Google hasn’t already started penalizing a certain tactic, know that it will.
- Stay up to date on Google’s ever-changing rules. Our Hyper Dog Media Monthly Summary of Search is a low bandwidth newsletter to keep you in Google’s good graces.
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