How to Avoid Getting OOPed On by Google?
Earlier this year, I was having trouble getting good search engine placement for one of our sites. I was trading links like crazy, spending many hours a week trying to optimize the site properly, checking my linking structures, keyword density, etc., but still I was not climbing the ranks in Google.
I tried everything, but nothing was working. Then I had an opportunity to fly to Atlanta, GA for an intensive SEO workshop with Search Engine Specialist Brad Fallon and Online Store Expert Andy Jenkins. When I mentioned my quandary to Brad, he began checking my backlinks for me.
The problem became very obvious the more in depth the investigation got. Yes, I had gotten a lot of backlinks. Yes, I had a strong, keyword related descriptive text. Yes, I had keyword related Anchor Text (The Title linked back to a web site with a hyperlink). But here-in was my problem.
What I had done in my overzealousness to get my links exchanged (with everybody this side of the Sunni Triangle), was Over-Optimized my Anchor Text. Now, we were optimizing for several keyword phrases, but decided to go for a biggie - "Web Hosting Provider".
The problem I had created for myself, however, was that every Link I exchanged in my flurry of activity, had the same anchor text, linked to the same URL on my site. Brad told me I had over-optimized the anchor text which appears un-natural to the Search Engines.
Because we were going after such a huge term, I mistakenly thought it was necessary to flood the net with as many links having "Web Hosting Provider" as possible, just to try and compete with the big boys having hundreds of thousands of links. Unfortunately, this was NOT the case. In fact, I did more damage than help.
I was OOPed (over-optimization penalty) on by Google - dropped like a rock out of the top 1000 from being in the top 30. Aaaargh! "What do I do now?" I wondered out loud. I was left with a quandary of sorts. All the intensive hours of laborious link exchanging with other like minded webmasters - do I now retrace my steps, and ask half of them to change my link? Sure! And while I'm at it I think I'll cut the back lawn with a pair of mustache scissors just for fun.
I pondered my websites' future as the SEO Pro conference continued?
On the last day, Andy Jenkins went into an in depth explanation of the incredible importance of examining your competitions' backlinks. Using one of the finest tools available, SEO Elite, Andy ran a sample examination of some competing sites - one that placed well, one that did not. Both had a good number of backlinks.
What was the difference? He pulled up the first site not doing so well and went on to explain:
"Look down this column here on the right!" Andy exclaimed. "See the Anchor Text? All the same-most of the way down." He showed us as he scrolled down the long list of backlinks. "Now let's look at the one that's ranking well." He said, as he threw the one screen down and pulled the other one up.
"Look closely here, at these anchors." My heart sank when I realized all my hard work may have been in vain. "Check out the anchors-all varied." He pointed out. "You can see the main keywords show up the most, the second and third tier keywords show up less often."
So, what was the bottom line? Was I able to salvage my linking strategy? It turns out I was left with two choices (actually 3 choices- I could just leave it alone). Either I go back and mix up some of my anchor texts with my linking partners, or I had to de-optimize the keyword density on my home page drastically. On this site, I chose to change the linking strategy and index page.
There in Atlanta, on a rainy day in February, was birthed the idea of a program that could automatically rotate anchor texts and the URL's they link to, within a website. I presented the idea to my business partner and programmer Jonathan, to see if it was a viable idea. He said yes, and went to work scripting.
Several months later Link-Blaster was finished and uploaded. We decided to automate as many features as possible to help time strapped web-masters and SEO's with their linking strategy. Now, any member who joins can also get automatically placed on every other member's web site, gaining instant backlinks in minutes.
All links get 3 different Anchor Texts, 3 different URL's, and the ability to weight them by percentage. Finally, we added relevant RSS Feeds to each category page to make sure they're crawled consistently by the search engines. We're excited about this brand new system and expect great results.
If you'd like more info check out our website which explains in more detail all the features of this powerful automated system.
Bob Volk, Founder of VolkNet Enterprises, is an Internet Entrepreneur and has started/co-founded many sites including http://volknet.com, http://seo-elite-services, and his newest venture, an automated link exchange program with a unique twist at http://Link-Blaster.com He specializes in Web Site Design, Marketing, and SEO Consultation for both small and medium size businesses doing $30 - $40 million a year.
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