Are you noticing a theme this month? Of course you are, because there’s an obvious theme:
Google is changing things up, it’s getting hardcore about it, and the sites that thrive will be the ones that play ball. The ones that don’t are going to wear Google’s dunce cap. Believe us: you don’t want to wear the dunce cap. Once it goes on, it’s awfully hard to get off.
There are a number of specific things you can do to protect your site once Google implements more of these changes. Some of them are fairly technical, such as regularly updating your disavow file. This is a file that prohibits questionable sites from linking to yours, and you’ll likely want to let your Internet marketing representative and/or webmaster focus on that.
However, there are some more general things to focus on in ensuring that Google doesn’t give your site a smackdown. Several relate to issues we’ve covered above, but they’re worth repeating, because they’re critically important. They include:
Make your content evergreen: We keep stressing that your site’s content be high quality and relevant, but it’s also important to ensure that the content remains useful to your target audience over time.
Having competitive search rankings over the long run requires content that remains fresh over time without needing to be updated. When in doubt, avoid topical issues that soon become meaningless. Try to go with material that will be as helpful next year as it is today.
Repurpose content the right way: There’s a reason we italicized that word. “Repurposing” can be misconstrued at a time when Google is striking out against duplicated and spun copy, but that doesn’t mean you’re prohibited from transforming your content into new forms.
For example, if you have an especially relevant and popular blog post, consider converting it to an infographic. That infographic can further be modified into a slideshow or video. Heck, it can even be turned into a comic or a podcast!
Blog, blog, blog… then blog some more: Blogging is not just about quality, though that’s certainly important. How regularly you (or your employed or contracted blogger) post matters just as much. Google likes sites that are active and continually providing useful information.
With that said, don’t just publish low-quality posts to maintain a particular schedule. Active doesn’t mean you have to throw some trifling copy up there every other day. It’s better to have one strong blog post with graphics and strong outbound links than three mediocre offerings in the same timeframe.
Build up those organic links: Hey, another italicized word! You know what that means. Don’t buy links, and don’t buy into any spiel claiming you can crank up your SEO with a bunch of incoming links from less-than-reputable sites.
You need strong incoming links for your site to rank well and stay there. Focus on quality, relevance, and quantity. The links need to related specifically to whatever your site offers (or at least related to a closely affiliated subject or product). Most often, a link that is easy to get is not a “good” link. Those come from high-reputation sites that choose to link to you because of the authority you’ve displayed and value you create.