It’s the same story I’ve heard every year for the past few years. Google makes a new Avoid Google’s yearly “purge” algorithm updates. Clients complain about lost traffic. Clients do more or less the same nonsense. …repeat! Here are a few pointers to help you break the cycle:
Why should you listen to me about algorithm updates?
Despite the fact that I do not work for Google, do not follow their algorithm updates, and am not interested in optimizing for them…My sites’ rankings have remained stable for over a decade. They perform admirably, and I’m never concerned about algorithm updates. In fact, I almost welcome them. Not only that, but I also manage a large number of clients from various industries. I see parallels between the ones that lose traffic and those that don’t. I’m sure it wouldn’t be difficult to draw correlations if you could see my clients’ websites and traffic numbers.
1. Stop sending out Amazon links.
This, I believe, is the most obvious way for Google to assess the quality of your site. What is your percentage of pages with Amazon links versus pages without? If you have Amazon links on nearly all of your pages…then you’re asking for trouble!
- Let’s go 50/50.
- What about some philosophical pieces or something different than the same old review and affiliate link-template?
2. Stop creating content that is ME-TOO.
Write something off the top of your head with an original title. Don’t bother with keyword research. Or, at the very least, don’t do it for all of your content.
- Don’t be concerned. Google is intelligent enough to read “human speak” and still display your site in related searches.
- I understand that for some of you who use contract writers to “research” and copy other sites, this is nearly impossible. Tsk tsk… How can you ever hope to outrank the sites you plagiarize?!
3. Make your site load quickly on mobile devices.
Let us be clear…I’m not interested in page rankings; I’m interested in how long your eyes have to wait before the content appears. 1 to 2 seconds is sufficient. (Ideally, it should be one second.) And if you have any stupid gimmicky effects that cause your site to lag, get rid of them.
- Find a reputable web host.
- Remove page builders.
- Get rid of those pesky page-lagging asset requests.
4. Create content for social media
I’m sorry I said it that way. Perhaps “write for a human audience” would be a better approach. My point is this: create content for humans. Forget about SEO crawlers, word count, and keyword density, and all that other nonsense. Write your sh*t so that it is entertaining while also speaking from your heart…and YOUR personal point of view. Don’t treat it like a 10th-grade essay assignment, where it’s thorough but lacking in soul. And, yes… I understand that if your writers are paid by the word rather than by shares or engagement time, this requirement may be difficult to meet.
5. Be original; abandon the formula.
- Some pieces are quite long. Some pieces are too short.
- Some are for educational purposes. Some are purely for entertainment purposes.
- Even if it doesn’t make you any money, write something.
6. Don’t be concerned about Google algorithm updates.
- This seems counterintuitive, but it’s true. Every year, Google publishes new ostensible requirements for webmasters. And, as is customary, they don’t take it as seriously as they claim.
- They said no more link farms one year, but they still got away with backlinking themselves.
- Another year, they said they would penalize duplicate content, but competitors who stole content sometimes outranked the original.
- And now they claim to be concerned about website speed…
- Despite this, MANY sites with low page rankings continue to dominate Google.
So, what do the experts think they know now? They’ve always known the same thing. Google simply provides guidelines but does not follow them over other “hidden” metrics that they consider to be more important.