At Web Gnomes, we constantly monitor the world of Internet marketing so that you don’t have to. This week, our favorite Internet marketing posts cover Google penalty mistakes, massive confusion surrounding Google’s new unnatural links notices, and awesome ideas for livening up your Facebook page…
One of this week’s best articles was a case study by Dan Sharp. In the study, Dan showcases a large ecommerce client that was recently slapped by a Google penalty for somewhat dubious reasons.
Dan begins by presenting a graph of the site’s search traffic:
Clearly, something happened to the site around the end of June. To investigate, the site owner registered with Google Webmaster Tools, and sure enough: one of the now infamous unnatural links messages arrived.
Taking the analysis to the next level, they crawled the site with the Screaming Frog SEO Spider and found two pages with outlinks to direct competitors. As Dan explains, “These two product pages had 4-5 embedded keyword rich links within the product description all to the competitor, linking to the brand overview of the product, the model number, product page and even a help guide.”
Apparently, the client was in a hurry and copied the competitor’s content (inadvertently copying the links as well). This is obviously a mistake because it compromises the quality of the client site’s content. But are two pages and a handful of links really enough to justify a search engine death penalty?! Google obviously thought so.
After the client removed the links and submitted a reconsideration request, the site recaptured most of its original search traffic about 3 weeks later. Here’s a graph that clearly presents the penalty’s impact on the site’s search traffic:
Google really had a rough week. In addition to their starring role in the previous article, they also created a new controversy over a fresh batch of unnatural links notices. In this article, Danny Sullivan provides context and helps explain the chaos surrounding these new notices.
Danny begins by providing a timeline for link-related events, which includes the original batch of unnatural links notices (sent around the end of March), the Google Penguin Update, and various announcements from Google that helped muddy the waters.
Danny also dives into the confusion surrounding Google’s message regarding unnatural links. Originally, Google’s advice was to remove bad links from your backlink profile and heed every warning received through Google Webmaster Tools.
Flash forward to this week. Now, Google is sending out a new batch of unnatural link notices (with the same content as the originals mentioned above). However, according to Matt Cutts, these new notices aren’t necessarily a problem:
Um, what? Apparently, in the spirit of transparency, Google is now advising us NOT to worry about messages that we SHOULD have worried about a month ago. Good times. Let’s just hope this situation is clearer (and less “transparent”) next month.
If you’re struggling to come up with exciting things to post on your Facebook page, this is the post for you! Amy Fowler has pulled together an amazing list of 14 ideas that should definitely spice up your Facebook postings.
Here’s a brief summary of those ideas:
- Link to Something Cool – the Internet’s full of cool stuff; share it on Facebook.
- Share Some Trivia – post a fun fact; people love interesting tidbits.
- Let Your Artistic Side Shine Through – images are the most engaging type of Facebook post.
- Let Your Inner Spielberg Out – who doesn’t love a good video clip?
- Ask Questions – engage your audience by getting them involved in the conversation.
- Get Quizzical – make your audience think a little.
- Caption Time – post an image, and ask your audience to come up with a good caption for it.
- Fill-in-the-Blank – allow your audience to get creative.
- Guess What/Where/Who – people love guessing games.
- Run a Competition – get people excited about your brand by having them compete for a prize.
- Post a Poll – learn more about your audience with a quick poll.
- Share News Stories – educate your audience about breaking news in your industry.
- Share and Share Alike – reshare content found on other Facebook pages.
- Talk About Your Company – give updates about new and exciting things happening at your company.
For more information about any of these ideas, be sure to read Amy’s excellent article.Happy Sunday, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!