Here are a few actions you can take in order to reverse any undesirable traffic drops after the latest round of Google algorithm updates. Plus some key insights into who has been hurt the worst.
There has been a lot of recent debate amongst SEO’s as to what has resulted from Google’s recent updates. There is one consensus among us, and it’s that Google’s updates hit article marketing sites way below the belt. For those of you who don’t use article marketing in your strategy this could be valuable information as to what not to start implementing now!
While it is true that some of these article sites or “content farms” as they are pejoratively known like Squidoo or Hubpages have seen their traffic slip in the last few months, Squidoo down by 5.66% in the last month and Hubpages down 8.74% , graphs below-It is not true that all of the article sites will become obsolete.
Take for instance, the graph below of a very popular article marketing site amazines.com. The graph shows them initially down in a big way, at its lowest in August, but you can see that the last couple of months have seen an upward trend in traffic to the tune of 16.66%.
Why has traffic dropped on these very popular sites? Well, I don’t think anyone is 100% sure why Google has allowed some sites back into its graces, while others continue to see poor search engine results- but one thing is clear to all: Google is a business and its business is search engine results. My two cents is, If they give their customers crappy results i.e duplicate content, spun articles, poorly written articles; then their customers (searchers) are going to go somewhere else for their results. So it’s not that “big, bad Google” wants to punish people for bad websites, (well, not really punish them) it’s just that they want to make sure that their users are getting information that is quality and of use to them.
To this end, my conclusions as to what some webmasters have done to fix their drop in traffic to now be trending back upwards are these few things.
Fix The Google “No-No’s On Their Sites
For example Titus Hoskins blogged about this last month and I feel this about sums up the most drastic of measures taken-
“Many of these webmasters quickly started deleting, de-linking or no-following those articles on their sites which could be considered non-unique since these articles also appear on other sites around the web. Some sites like Buzzle, even deleted unique articles which was a little puzzling, to say the least. At the moment, anyone can still submit an article to Buzzle, but you are not allowed a link out – not even in your profile!”
So essentially some of the most drastic actions include, changing do-follow links to no-follow links on certain authors who submit unoriginal content in many places around the web, deleting articles that aren’t original form their sites, stop allowing outbound linking etc…
Only Submit 100% Unique Content to a Handful of Quality Sites
In the past, it was easy to get away with writing one article having it “spun” hundreds of times and sent out to every article directory on the web. I would say this is no longer a valid strategy. Don’t be cheap with your time or money. Sit down and write the article yourself, or if your writing skills aren’t up to par, pay someone to write an article for you. Make sure this person has mastery of their language and are adept at putting concepts into words. Then as part two of this strategy, submit those unique articles to a handful of quality directories some that are still in good standing or trending back up include – Amazines.com, GoArticles.com, ezinearticles.com and Technorati.com; all of these sites are do-follow as well. This is just a partial list, there are of course, many more quality sites to choose from.
Promote Articles Using Social Media
It goes without saying that social media sites have seen a huge surge in relevance in the past years. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and now Google+ all offer ways of promoting your content, your website and ultimately mark you as an authority on your topic. Don’t be shy, tweet it out. Ask for a “like” and make sure your websites have an easy way for people to comment on your content as well as share it with their friends and “follow” you on social media sites. It’s also good for the article directory you choose to send out your social feelers from the directory site itself as that helps those directories be seen as authorities as well.
Find Blog Partners
I base this on personal experience with our clients, if you want to see huge jumps in your search engine results and you are serious about quality, 100% unique articles – the best bang for your buck will be from getting a link back from a high-PR, high-authority blog in your niche. A bunch of them. Start by doing some research using the search term of your industry plus adding “submit guest post” or “submit an article” in front. For instance search “submit guest post tax help” a number of blogs should come up that are high PR and that accept content from authors like you. Approach these site owners in a friendly way with a sample of your work, you will be amazed at what this can do for your ranking.