5 Steps To Increase Traffic & Survive Google Updates (part 1)
For the last few years, Google has released wave after wave of algorithm updates.
Without going into the details, Google is penalizing low quality sites and rewarding high quality sites.
Just like Page Rank, Google gives a ‘quality score’ to every single website on the Internet. We first saw this when Google panda was launched. Some massive websites had an instant drop in traffic. Others had a huge increase.
Generally the higher quality sites (that were both high quality internally and externally with high quality backlinks) shot up in the rankings.
This quality score I believe is hidden from sites. It’s not a score that is publicly displayed in webmaster or SEO tools like Page Rank, it’s used as an internal score to rank your sites.
Most probably there is a quality score threshold, and if you go below it; your site tanks. The majority of sites that get hit by updates never really recover. It can only be because they were built to such a lower standard or quality score that Google rules them out altogether.
We all know it happened to hundreds of thousands of micro niche sites across the web. With that said, even if you’ve been hit; there is hope. You can slowly recover and boost your rankings. If you’re not penalized, you can simply use these strategies to hedge against future updates and increase your traffic.
Step 1: Internal Linking
One of the biggest differences between a high quality themed site and a content farm/low quality site is internal linking. Think about sites like article directories, they got destroyed, wiped out; FINSIHED.
Every single article page is simply an article and an author resource box with a link out to a money site. No internal links whatosever. These kind of sites are known as content farms, sites built solely for the purpose of link building. Google penalizes these kinds of sites. Sites that have page after page of content with a single external link.
One crucial step to boosting your rankings and protecting your site from being labeled a content farm is internal linking. Linking to internal pages contextually within your content. There are plenty of plugins that will do this for you automatically, to name two:
If you’d like super targeted internal links, it’s easy to manually place a few internal links when writing blog posts. Internal links also provide your site with relevant internal backlinks and they drastically boost time on site as well as average page views per visitor (people like to click contextual links).
Step 2: Stop Targeting Keywords
Obviously you want to target keywords in most of your site’s articles. However, Google knows when you’re targeting a keyword, and it doesn’t look good when you have 1000′s of articles all targeting a specific keyword.
It tells Google you’re writing the content for the sole purpose of ranking for the specific keyword. Just like Google penalized exact match domains that were built to target single keywords. It’s very common for low quality sites to do this. They generate a list of 500 keywords in their niche and outsource an article for each one.
High quality sites don’t always target exact keywords in their content. Instead, you should often write high quality themed content about a topic, instead of a keyword. Google will naturally boost your site’s authority for doing this as well as reward you with a ton of long tail keyword rankings.
When you naturally write about a topic, you will inevitably rank for dozens or hundreds of long tail keywords if your site has any authority. Also, visitors who are searching exact keywords generally don’t stick around for long. They find out the exact information they were searching for and leave.
Visitors who search more general topic based keywords are the kind of visitors who stick around and subscribe to your email list.