SOS (Save Our Search) – Rescuing injured websites from Google Updates
In the last year we have all seen Google alter their game tactics after the introduction of Google Penguin and the recent Panda updates. What were once viewed as being effective SEO practices, many of these techniques are now having detrimental effects on rankings and results. Many of us now have to make fundamental decisions about what is worth saving on a site and what requires removing altogether.
When trying to recover a site that has been hit badly, check the back links for their relevance and value. Google introduced the disavow tool last year so make the most of this gift and get rid of any low quality links that are going to have a negative effect on your campaign. So, which links need to go? Many of the black-hat links include poor quality directories, site-wide links and guest blog posts on sites that will advertise anything from diet pills to get-rich-quick gimmicks. If there is any uncertainty over the value of a link, Candy Rank is a great tool to grade a website on its multiple ranking factors, such as page authority and social signals.
Thin, keyword-rich content is a thing of the past and is likely to have been hit by the Panda. Limit two keywords and three areas to every 250 words and ensure that the content reads smoothly, in order to make it look natural. Finding information on a site that doesn’t offer a purpose or value is a great opportunity to make some reductions.
Using a robots.txt is also a viable method of blocking sections of a site that you don’t want Google to see.
There are hundreds of sites out there with poor content and a bad back-link profile. So, why did our site get hit and theirs didn’t? Unfortunately we may never know, as there aren’t many good answers out there. However, we do know that white-hat SEO practices are where the future of SEO lies.