If you pay much attention at all to what Google says or what Internet Marketers talk about, you know that Google just did a big update that effects 11.8% of their queries. Simply put, they’re trying to get rid of sites that offer poor value as they have nothing more than regurgitated content from other sites. They’re tired of the content farms.
The impact has been huge. Ezine Articles has lost huge amounts of traffic, yet they’re one of the best article directories out there. Less known sites have also lost huge amounts of traffic. Many webmasters are concerned about the loss of links to their sites as these changes reduce the value of previously built links.
So naturally all kinds of guides are popping up telling you how to deal with this change. Some free in exchange for an email address, others you have to buy, still others give a free report, then a sales pitch at the end of the report.
What Can You Do?
If this has made your own site drop in rankings, obviously you’re eager to get them back. How this is going to work may depend on how exactly Google did this and if the theory that this is a site rather than page based change is correct. If it’s site based, I suspect it will be more difficult if your site was of the sort specifically targeted. If your site was collateral damage, maybe not so difficult.
I agree with what some have said, which is that this throws a kink into the article marketing routine as used by many people. That doesn’t mean that article marketing is dead, so far as I know. It means you need to think about how you’re doing it to give yourself the right combination of great content for your site, syndicated content and backlinks built.
Time is a huge constraint for most of us. Creating great content takes time, and it’s nice when you can distribute it to article directories after publishing it on your own site. I’ve done a lot of this, but I’m looking at whether I will have the right balance going forward of unique content versus syndicated on my sites. It’s pretty clear that some unique content on a site is a good thing.
Certainly it’s a good time to reconsider things you might be trying such as article spinning, which I’ve long thought was a bad idea. I’ve never liked the idea of faking original content. Autoblogging may also not work so well, but once again, it’s something I haven’t ever recommended, especially as a primary business. I much prefer the slower but more stable results of building my sites more naturally.
It may also be a good time to add in other types of marketing. I keep trying to talk myself into podcasting or making videos – perhaps it’s time. These are actions that you can take which may help you to regain what you may have lost, or may help you build in ways you haven’t manage to build your online business yet.
What Shouldn’t You Do?
Panic. Panicking is absolutely not the right solution.
Don’t rush out to buy one of the new infoproducts just because they say they have a solution to this update. Too many people are rushing products out, but it’s hard to say how all this will sort out. It looks bad for a lot of sites and that’s a major problem for their owners, but you need to have a clearer idea as to what the problem is before you start buying solutions. Know what you’re going to do next and then decide if you need to pay for information on how to best implement your solution.
Did Google Get It Right?
Any time Google makes a really big change like this people are going to debate whether they got it right or not. I have mixed feelings about that myself. I can see how trying to get sites that tend to provide a poor experience out of the rankings might be a good thing overall, but it’s not always easy to target those alone. I don’t doubt there were a number of false positives, sites that should have been left alone but took a big hit anyhow.
The issue is with the good sites that dropped and in some cases the good sites that rose. Blind Five Year Old’s post on the subject has a great example with the old and new searches for “schoolyard bullying,” which now has Wikipedia at the top. Wikipedia is a good site for some things, but as noted in the article, not for a topic like “schoolyard bullying.” The old results were much better.
It would not surprise me at all to see Google tweak things a little over the next few weeks. This is a big change, but that doesn’t mean they can’t adjust it with smaller changes. Take a little time and think about if you need to react and how you should do so. You’ll probably make a better decision if you get more information about the changes first.