Earlier this year, Google announced new guidelines that restricted linking key words in press releases, native ads, guest posts and other types of content — alerting PR and marketing pros to use caution when writing online content that includes links.
Google abhors any type of link schemes that manipulate links into your site or outgoing links from your site. Writers should strive to create content and links that are high-quality and relevant.
For those doubting Google would actually search for and penalize those who broke the rules, Vladimir Gendelman’s story offers proof that Google enforces its decrees. In How a Top Google Ranking Nearly Bankrupted My Company, Gendelman of CompanyFolders, Inc., explains his company used to acquire as many links from as many different websites as possible using targeted keywords in their anchor texts. The tactics brought their website to No. 1 in organic search…until Google implemented the guidelines.
The result: Gendelman’s company dropped dramatically in search ranks, and overall traffic to the company’s site dropped by over 60 percent.
Instead of relying on link-building, businesses should use their website, a marketing strategy and other resources to drive up their search ranking. For businesses in danger of a Google “slap,” Gendelman advises applying the following changes that sparked his company’s recovery.
- Completely overhaul the website with better functionality and navigation.
- Create better resources to share with customers, including sample packets, discounts, free services, and other perks. Gendleman, whose company prints folders, offered his customers free folder design templates to inspire graphic designers and help them produce work for their clients more efficiently.
- Add new features to your marketing plan. Gendleman’s company introduced a blog full of tips, tutorials, and other helpful resources relevant to their industry.
Moral of the story: companies cannot rely on one resource to improve their search ranking. Develop other online and marketing resources to organically grow your search engine ranking position.