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Protect Your SEO Rankings and Avoid the Google Slap

If you’re a blogger, you know the truth: The Almighty Google giveth, and the Almighty Google taketh away. Your Google rankings are always at jeopardy thanks to the ever-changing Google algorithms. This means you might rank on the first page today but get Google-slapped to page four tomorrow if you’ve broken any of the ever-changing Google rules.

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The following are current strategies (July 2013) for avoiding the ever-feared Google-slap. I’ll post updates to this whenever there’s a change in Google algorithms and will update the date so you will know how up-to-date this advice is. As you probably already know: old news is not helpful in this rapidly shifting Internet landscape. I’ll do my best to keep you current on the best advice for protecting SEO rankings.

Tip #1 – Post Truly Useful Content

A lot of bloggers make the mistake of posting crap on their site. If you aren’t offering good material, Google will catch on to you and slap you to the ground faster than you can say “Please don’t give me the Google slap!”

Good content is either:

  • Informative
  • Entertaining
  • Inspiring
  • Useful

If you post content that actually delivers value, you’ll rank well with Google and will develop a real following.

After all, there’s more to ranking than just fooling Google. Your bounce rate will drop if you provide actually useful or entertaining content, since you want to do more than rank well. You want readers to actually act on your content.

Tip #2 – Don’t Overstuff Your Blog Posts With Keywords

Yes, you want to make sure your posts have keywords in them, but you do not want to stuff them with so many keywords that the post reads unnaturally. Aim for a natural sound. Use behind-the-scenes techniques to stuff keywords into tags and images instead of stuffing your posts.

It’s better to write multiple blog posts on individual topics (and use a naturally-occurring number of keywords in each post) than to stuff a zillion keywords into a few posts. The Google people are smarter than any of us want to believe they are. They reward bloggers who do the work and produce lots of content; they Google-slap the fools that load keywords into a few posts and think they should get on the first page.

Tip #3 – Post at Least 350 Words

Alright, alright – I know some of you are posting funny pics or images or comics and you can’t write 350 words in addition to the stuff you usually post. That’s cool, and I get it. However, you will need to add in lengthy posts from time to time to prove to Google that you are a real deal kind of site. You need to get the respect of the Google Overlords who decide where your page should show up in searches.

This is especially important if you are trying to sell a product or service or are running an informational site. Comedic or artistic sites don’t need so many words per posts, but sites that are out to convince viewers to buy something need some serious content creation.

Tip #4 – Use Multimedia

Google loves to see that you are more than a writer. Post images, videos and audio to show Google you are not a one-trick-pony. Google likes the idea that you are making your site friendly to viewers who prefer audio or video instead of just posting one type of media.

If you’re not sure how to find professional images online (and get permission to use them), check out my posting on using images to increase your Google rankings here and then check out istockphoto here. I use istockphoto for my images because they are professional and they offer a wide variety of types of images and photos.

Tip #5 – Keep Your Content Fresh

Google won’t give you the respect you deserve if you don’t keep adding new content to your site. Review your static pages once in a while and tweak them, refreshing the content. Add a blog post every week, showing Google the site is active.

Make sure you change up which keyword phrases you optimize for, showing Google you are wide in breadth and scope.

Protect Your Google Rank

Follow these simple steps to protect your site from a drop in rankings. I’ll keep you posted as I follow Google’s changes.

Five Pieces of Blogging Advice You Can Trust

As  you already know, there’s a lot of blogging advice out there about the topic of making money off your blog. Unfortunately, a lot of the advice available is either impractical, ineffective or just plain promises unicorns and rainbows without delivering suggestions you can realistically do to build a solid business. The following are five pieces of blogging advice that is really works:

Blogging Advice #1 – Take Your Time

If you want to make money off your blog, you’re going to have to blog often.

A lot of people will tell you that you just need to prop up a site, post a few times and slap up some banner ads, but the truth is you need to build trust with your readers or they won’t buy from you. What’s the best way to do that? Post often, and post reliable information. But that’s blogging advice piece number two…

Blogging Advice #2 – Post Only Quality Content

Do your research, write carefully (or hire a copywriter to write for you) and edit your posts. No one trusts someone who claims to be an expert on a topic but then writes like they failed the 5th grade. Make sure you know what you’re talking about, and then write about it intelligently. If you want some great ideas on how to come up with great content ideas and write quality content quickly, click here for more expert advice.

Blogging Advice #3 – Make Sure Every Post Offers Value

Even one poor post can chase off readers. Don’t waste your reader’s time. Instead make sure every post has a purpose and delivers at least one of the following three things: entertainment, valuable information or educational material. If the post doesn’t offer value, revise until it’s something worth reading.

Blogging Advice #4 – Prove Yourself to be Trustworthy

For example, you’ll notice I post about VOIP (voiceover IP), which falls into the informational and educational categories. People can learn how VOIP works and get practical information about how to switch to VOIP, how to choose a VOIP provider and what to expect from VOIP.

Why do I post about this topic? Because I’m a satisfied VOIP user and I know a lot about this topic. (BTW, you can Click Here for the absolute best price on VOIPo.) The same goes for hosting providers, blogging software and other web how-to products and procedures. I blog about the things I know and have tested, so my readers know I’m reliable and trustworthy.

You need to build that kind of trust with your readers, too.

That’s why you need to make sure you choose topics you truly understand and can blog intelligently about. Or, if you are providing entertainment, make sure your posts are truly funny, beautiful or otherwise entertaining. Stand out from the competition. Be the blogger people can trust.

Blogging Advice #5 – Learn SEO Practices

Your content needs to be good, but you also need to learn how to get found on the web.

If you want to show up in search engine results, you have to learn how to play the game. Unfortunately, the rules of the game change often, so you need to stay on top of these changes. If you don’t like to read up on SEO or find it overwhelming, use a plug in like Scribe from Copyblogger that is automatically updated with new SEO rules as changes as made. (Scribe is not the only SEO tool out there, but it’s a solidly good one. I use it from time to time to check to make sure I’m on top of SEO changes, and you can take Scribe on a Risk-Free Test Drive.)

Some bloggers hire SEO gurus to help them rank on search engine pages, but most of us can’t afford to hire someone. Don’t worry; you can rank if you choose a few keyword phrases to focus on, devote time to writing about those topics and learn to be patient. To help you out, I’ve scoured a TON of content on SEO, and recommend you click here to grab your free SEO report from Copyblogger.

Devotion pays off in the blogging world. It’s not a get-rich-quick type of industry (even if a lot of people try to say that is possible.) It is, however, a build-a-solid-business type of industry, if you’ve got the patience to write good content and learn how to play by the rules.

For more solid blogging advice, check out this fun blog post from blogging expert Sonia Simone from Copyblogger.