Last week, Google released a Link Disavow Tool.
Now if you haven’t seen any commentary on this, this is basically what happened, inside your webmaster’s toolkit account, is now a new function, a new tool — where you can go in and nominate, any sort of dodgy back links that are coming into your website and Google will take that into account and not penalise you for poor quality links that come into your website in terms of their search ranking algorithms. So sites have gone out and bought lots of cheap spammy, dodgy links are now getting penalised by Google for trying to game the system.
This tool allows webmasters to go in and basically put their hands up and ask for those links to be discounted when Google works out where they are going to put them in their search rankings. So there’s going to be quite a lot of changes and a real big shake up in the Search Engine Optimization industry because of this. Because what Google has essentially done is, overnight created a huge crowd-sourced army of webmasters who are going to be reporting websites which are giving them dodgy links which would normally be paid for/bought for links. So all the information could be aggregated at Google and they’ll know which sites are giving dodgy back links and they’ll be out to basically penalise their sites that don’t nominate themselves. That’s going to kill out a whole industry of businesses and sites who basically existed purely by selling backlinks.
So the great aspects of this is it’s really going to clean up the search results when you do go to Google and look for an answer, there is going to be less sort of spammy sites that have been trying to game the system there and more good quality sites, so it’s good from a user experience point of view. From a webmaster though, if you’ve been buying cheap search engine optimization or going getting dodgy links and doing some dodgy practices then there is a fair chance you’re going to see a drop in the amount of traffic you’re going to get from Google, a drop in your Google rankings.
The other concern is that other companies can go out, especially in very competitive niches and go look at the sites that are giving you backlinks and go and create sacrificial sites and nominate your backlink sites as sources of spam in which case then those links that you’ve got will be discounted and won’t count towards your ranking or it could even penalise your ranking.
So there’s also quite a lot of concern in the search engine optimisation industry about that negative SEO that some companies may be trying to apply.
Alright, so what do you need to do as a business owner? If you have your website and you know you’ve been buying dodgy links or been doing some dodgy practices, then you’re probably going to want to go in and put in those website addresses, if you know of them, where you’ve been getting cheap poor quality backlinks from. And that way, they will be taken out of the equation when you are getting your website ranked within the Google algorithm.
The other thing you are going to want to do is revisit any search engine optimization companies that you’re paying and what work they’re doing for you. You want to know that they are not going to actually jeopardise and negatively affect your website now with the way they have been doing their practices. So what you’re looking for now is good quality content so you need be going out and creating content around your business area or your niche so you need videos, articles, blog posts, images, and really working out what your problems are that your customers have and providing good educational content around that and that’s going to bring people in, that’s going to bring search engines in, that’s going to help you rank by doing it that way. Rather than trying to get masses of dodgy links and game the system.
The other consideration you need to start looking at is not relying on Google as your sole or main source of traffic. It’s going to be much harder to control going forward so you are going to need to start looking outside of Google. So you need to be looking at Joint Ventures, Content Marketing, using videos, getting traffic off YouTube, using social media sites like Pinterest for your images, there’s the standard things like Twitter and Facebook, and even things like Amazon if you can write a book or a short eBook around your topic and have that in Amazon, running podcasts from iTunes – all those types of things are going to bring in more traffic and reduce your reliance on Google for your website.
When was the last time you checked out your Google Analytics for your company website?
Google Analytics can be a great source of data to work out what to do next and look at your marketing to see if it’s effective. If you’ve got a marketing budget and you’re looking where to put it to see where you get the most use from, a really good part to look is inside your Google Analytics and look at what websites are referring traffic to you. And there’s a fair chance that if you’re in a, say a, builder and you’re getting traffic from a building review site or a Brisbane Builder Directory website. If that’s already sending you traffic and you aren’t paying for it, a few of them reach out to that website, that directory, and see if they have a paid advertising program or if you can ask them to maybe sponsor a link or a banner on their website, it’s almost a guarantee that the amount of traffic that you are going to get from that source is already going to increase.
Risk-wise, it’s pretty safe because you are already getting traffic from the site and now you’re simply going to make yourself more visible on that site so you should get more traffic again from that site. Then this comes back to a cost -vs- return. You need to know how much you’re paying for the advertising and how it compares to how much traffic you’re getting off that site. But definitely look in Google Analytics and see what the top referring websites are that are bringing traffic into your website.
The other thing to check out while you’re in Google Analytics is your number of mobile device visitors that you’re getting. It’s somewhere between about 10 and 20 percent at the moment for most websites. That’s 10, 20 percent of all visitors are coming on through on a mobile phone or an iPad or some other kind of tablet device. So if that’s getting up there and a relatively high percentage for your website, you want to be jumping on a mobile phone and have a look at borrowing someone’s iPhone or an Android phone if you don’t have one of those, and seeing how your website looks and how easy it is to navigate around. And if you find that you’re getting a lot of people visiting on a mobile device and your website doesn’t look so good for that, you probably have to start considering a possibly a dedicated mobile website for those visitors. If you need a mock up for that, or you want to see what one looks like, get in contact and that is something I can send you a mockup of what a mobile website would look like for you.
Hope you found some of those tips useful and if you got any questions or feedback it would be awesome if you could leave a comment below and I’ll answer it there, and I’d love to communicate with you that way.
So, have a fantastic week and I’ll talk to you shortly.