Advanced Guide to Google Penalty Removal

 

WHY THIS GUIDE?

Few things put a site owner or an SEO on edge more than the appearance of a Google penalty.

In recent years there has been a regular rollout of major algorithm updates and changes. With the Panda update in 2011, Penguin in 2012, and Hummingbird in 2013, and almost constant smaller updates and data refreshes, it's difficult to keep up with them all.

Future updates are going to be just as stressful for those who aren't following these trends, cutting corners with their link-building, and not keeping on top of their link profile by being aware who links to them.

We wanted to make an in-depth guide to Google penalties, what they are, how to avoid them, how to protect yourself from all future changes and mostly how to rectify the situation if your site is penalised.

You want to get your rankings back? Follow our advice and you will.

WHO IS THIS GUIDE FOR?

You might be a business owner with an online store, an employee working in the internet marketing department of a FTSE 100, or a freelance SEO whose client has just been hit. Whatever your reason for being here, it's likely that you have a big problem to solve.

Sales used to be arriving through the search engines, and maybe that revenue source has completely dried up. It's a scary situation to be in, but all is not lost. There is always something to be done, and no domain is ever completely burnt.

Any site can clean up its act, and when it does, it will generally be in a much better position than one that's brand new.

If you haven't been hit yet by a Google penalty, you're lucky to have found this while you have! Bookmark it, downloaded, print it out, internalise the information contained in this guide and use it to protect your business (or your job!) for many years to come.

HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE?

If you know nothing about SEO or Google's misleadingly-fluffily named updates, don't worry. By the end of this guide you’ll know more about recovering from a penalty than the guy you considered hiring to do it for you. We're going to walk you through every little step, from identifying the penalty, to figuring out where it came from, from discovering the root cause, to fixing the problem, and finally, to recovering your much needed search engine rankings.

You might only need one chapter. It's a reference guide, not a novel, so read through the descriptions below and navigate to the one you need.

HOW TO IDENTIFY A GOOGLE PENALTY

 The first step, before you do anything is to find out exactly where you stand. Have your sales or traffic dropped suddenly, and you're looking for reasons why? Or do you know for sure that your search rankings have dropped because you’ve been diligently tracking your keyword rankings?

If you're not completely on top of your website metrics already, it's time to get some clarity. You might be in panic mode, but try to step outside of that state for the moment.

It’s never too early to get on top of your data, and it's never been easier.

HOW TO KEEP ON TOP OF YOUR DATA

For most people it's not feasible to search through 50 pages of Google every day to see where you rank for the keywords you're targeting. Fortunately, tracking your search visibility doesn't have to be time consuming.

GOOGLE ANALYTICS

Of all the software in your SEO arsenal, Google Analytics is going to be the foundation and the tool that you will refer to most. It's free, feature-packed, and provides the backbone data for many of the other SEO tools.

Click here to view an in-depth guide on setting up Google Analytics.

Google no longer provides the specific keywords that people are finding your site through, but you can still see at a glance the general health and historic changes to your organic search traffic.


Website Speed and Search Rankings

How Website Speed Affects Rankings

First, if you expected that website speed influences your rankings big time, we need to clarify that this isn't so. While the two are related, you won't find a direct correlation – i.e. low ranking sites might load fast and vice versa.

The results depend on which metric you use to measure website speed. For instance, if you take into account the time needed to load the first byte of the page, then it turns out this is a huge factor because sites that are fast to load the first byte of a page typically rank higher in Google.

If you take other metrics into account – i.e. the time necessary to load the main content or the time it takes to load the complete page (with images and ads), then things change because it seems these two factors are not of that importance to Google.

Overall, it's believed that website speed has less than 1% effect on rankings. Google themselves have stated that they take website speed into account but they didn't disclose details about exactly what matters.

Nevertheless, many sites report increase in traffic (from search engines or otherwise) after they optimize their site for speed. This is a pretty good reason to do the same, if your site is slow – you are not doing it for Google, you are doing it for your users, your traffic, and your conversions. Website speed is key to user experience, so if your site is slow, there is no reason to keep it that way. What's the use of getting traffic from search engines, when your visitors have to hang for 10+ seconds before they can see your content – they will have left much before the page has loaded.

What to Do to Improve Website Speed

If you want to improve website speed, there are a couple of steps to be taken. First, you need to measure your website speed – otherwise how do you know it's slow?

1. Measure Load Times

In order to measure load times, you need a good tool. The choice here is quite rich. Pingdom Page Load Time tool and Google Analytics Site Speed reports give a good idea of your site's general performance. WebPageTest is a more advanced tool because it allows to test your site in different browsers and spot slow areas on your site.

These tests could take some time for a large site but since they give you detailed data about which parts are slow, just be patient. Good tools report not only the average site speed but elements, such as first byte, user time, time to fully load, percentage of images, htmls, JavaScript files, etc., which is useful later when you start fixing the problematic areas.

2. Move to a Faster Server

One of the obvious reasons a site is slow is that the server you are hosting it on is slow. The reasons here could be numerous – from a web hosting provider that lacks the capacity to offer fast servers, to the type of your hosting account.

The easier solution here is to upgrade your account. For instance, if you have a large site with many pages and frequent database reads/writes and you are still using a shared account, then no provider to Earth can offer the speed you need. In this case, if you are happy with the provider per se, your solution is to upgrade from a shared account to VPS (Virtual Private Server) or even to a dedicated server. The costs for VPS or a dedicated server a month are much higher than what you are paying for your shared account but if your site is making you money (or at least has the potential to), the problem with website speed is literally killing your business.

On the other hand, if your web hosting provider is not good even if you upgrade your account, this won't solve your problem. The only thing you can do is migrate your sites to a good web hosting provider. Here is a list of some of the best web hosting providers for you to choose from.

3. Optimize Your Site's Code and Images

Your server might be fast but if your site itself is slow, you will still experience speed issues. If your code and images are not optimized for fast loading, you won't see speed improvements till you fix them. This task could take a very, very long time, especially if your code and images are bloated but you've got to do it.

For images, you can use compression and/or smaller sizes. This will speed loading big time. For HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and other Web languages there are tons of tricks (and tools) how to optimize your code.

Website speed is not a factor with huge importance for search engine rankings, though it does count. The bigger problem with slow sites is that they are not user–friendly, which in turn kills conversions. If you don't want to lose money because of the speed issues of your site, take the time to fix them – it will pay in the long run.


How to use Twitter to drive traffic to your blog

How to Use Twitter to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

How to use Twitter to drive traffic to your blog [12 Steps]

 

How to use Twitter to drive traffic to your blog

 

 

If you don't promote your blog, how will anyone know about your great content? Driving traffic to your blog is just as successful as your blogging.

Take advantage of your blog to promote via Twitter. Tweeting about your blog is a great way to reach and connect with your consumer. With over 500 million users, you can also reach many new readers via tweet.

If you use Twitter properly, it can translate tons of traffic to your blog. But tweeting the title of your blog with a link to your site won't work.

You have to be proactive. You have to be creative. You must use excellent marketing when reporting your posts.

Here are 12 easy, actionable formula for marketing your blog. Try these to drive more traffic to your site.

1. Use short, provocative chats

 

 

A Tweet is quite short in itself. Content of 140 characters or less can lead to some minor challenges in writing compelling content. Short calls, less than 100 characters, achieve a 21% higher interaction rate.

When you are linking to a blog post, get creative. Try making short tweets that interest you in your blog article. They work.

When inserting your article, remember that you don't have to stick to the title of the post.

Check out this example from Copyblogger by Brian Clark. In six words, and less than 55 characters, it creates a call-to-action and lets you know what its article is about.

 

 

Brian Clark

 

The title of his article is actually "3 Modern Marketing Mistakes and How to Fix It."

(Okay, Brian is one of the best writing writers out there, and it might take a little practice to achieve his excellence. Great to learn!)

Here is another example of a provocative tweet that links to a blog article. Mashable creates disbelief and interest in eight words.

 

 

Mashable

 

Try it on your own. Take a blog you've written and write 10 or less variants of five tweets. Check them out to see what works best.

2. Enter the quote within the message

 

Give your followers a taste of your blog. Enter an intriguing quote for your article. Try a short quote and find the flavor of your content.

Check out this blog example I wrote about Wishpond, and then wrote it as follows:

 

Quote from Post

 

Again, you do not need to report the title of your article. Show your followers something more about your blog post.

Quotes generally do very well on Twitter. Research has shown that a tweet with a budget rewrites 54% more. If your followers like your quote and would like to resubmit it, they are likely to click on your site.

 

3.Insert statistics

Twitter-Post-Impressions

 

People love statistics. (Well, that's what the data indicates.)

If you have any interesting statistical information in your article, write about it. And for greater influence, use numbers and characters - not just letters. The numbers and characters in your tweet stand out in the line of your followers.

Here's an example from Hubspot. They use the short "did you know" question and the numbers and characters appear on the display ad article to send some pretty amazing data. They include a short blog link after the author.

 

 

HubSpot

4. Use #Hashtags

 

Hashtags are a great way to spread your tweets on a variety of topics. What he doesn't know yet is a hashtag. Basically, there are one or two words behind a common topic of discussion.

Hashtags have been used on Twitter for many years and offer a great way to connect with twitter users beyond your followers.

There are several methods to use hashtags when writing tweets to drive traffic to your blog. Here are two examples.

Use the specific hashtags for the topic. If you want to promote a particular blog, address, competition or ebook, you can create your own hashtag.

In this example, Guy Kawasaki wrote a post on his blog about good and bad reasons for writing a book. She uses the hashtag #APEtheBook, which is a common hashtag she has created to promote her ebook.

 

 

Guy Kawasaki

 

You can use this method for your entire blog on certain events in your website or on your blog (we will come to this tactic soon).

For example, you can set up a hashtag like #myawesomeblog. This makes Twitter a place for others to chat about your blog. If someone inserts it using your hashtag then that source will be used for hashtag searches. This can lead to more interest in your blog and more traffic to your site. (Of course, this technique is very famous for working well).

 

bored panda

 

 

Use general hashtags associated with your post. Include hashtags on your blog topics. This is your Twitter

 

For example, Bored Panda writes about crazy news in his posts. Connect with Twitter readers using message topic hashtags. In this case, they use #thunderstorm and #supercell to cover storms in Texas.

This extends their reach to all of their Twitter followers and other Twitter users interested in the storm in Texas

 

bored panda

5. Use @mentions

 

Mention is about how to include users @ Twitter users. This is a way to send tweets directly to followers, customers or anyone on Twitter.

You can use @Mentions in several ways.

If your blog comments on leading bloggers, companies, or customers, include them in a tweet that links back to your post. Not only will they appreciate the mention, but it can only get your tweet to redirect to your followers.

In this example, we wrote a blog post in Wishpond about Sephora and how they make a great album on Pinterest. We mentioned them in our Tweet.

 

 

Wishpond

 

Also include the people who posted good comments on your blog post. This is a great way to thank your loyal blog readers.

You can also mention the author of the blog post. Whether it is a guest blogger, a new blogger or even a regular blogger on your site, include them in a tweet that links back to their post. It is a nice gesture and will probably lead to their followers.

In this example, Shauna Miller of Penny Chic mentions the first blogger on her fashion blog.

 

twitter mention

6. A reference to the content of the blog

 

If someone mentions your blog content on Twitter, repeat their tweet.

This example shows a tweet from @Econsultancy. @ @ Mentioned Wishpond and included a link to their blog where they posted our infographic about social media marketing. At Wishpond, we redirected their tweet to our infographic.

 

retweet

7. Ask for a Retweet (or RT)

 

 

Ask for a Retweet (or RT)

 

This is a great way to ensure that your blog-related tweets are reproduced. Simply ask your followers to update or update the RT. Tweets that request "RT" or "Retweet" will receive 12 to 23 times more shares than those who do not.

To get more traffic to your blog, request a tweet when you tweet back to your blog post.

In this example, Guy Kawasaki asks his followers to follow a tweet linking back to his blog page "Please RT".

 

 

8. Use visually attractive images

 

The more appealing and enticing your tweets with blog posts are, the more they interact with them and the more they drive traffic back to your site.

 

 

twitter

 

Add a really cool picture to your blog's tweet. Make sure this applies to your post. Try to find a picture that will appeal to your followers and get them to know more by clicking on your blog post.

You can even add a visual call-to-action, such as an image that includes the words "click the link to learn more ..."

In this example, Intel tweeted a very clever image on July 4. Their blog post is about fireworks technology. In just 10 hours, this single tweet had 90 retweeks and 49 favorites. As you can see, the image is colorful, visually appealing and related to the science of fireworks.

 

twitter-traffic

9. Ask a Question Related to Your Topic

 

A question in your tweet can trigger a lot of engagement. If the question creates a sufficient connection and curiosity with your followers, it will get more clicks to your blog.

In this example of HootSuite, a tweet could simply tweet the title of its blog post. Instead, they asked their supporters a very playful question. It applies to their users by asking about browsers - not offices. The reader feels good if he tends to be in a chaotic place. And this can arouse their followers' interest in clicking on their blog post.

 

 

hootsuite-blogging

 

Try this method of updating your next blog post. What question can you ask followers to click through to your blog?

 

10. Tweet about your blog competition

 

blog competition

 

Running contests or group offers on your blog is a great way to increase traffic to your site. It interacts with your readers and gives new readers a great incentive to visit your blog.

Learn how easy it is to organize a contest on your website or blog. Get our free eBook: A complete guide to the contest and promotions

Tweeting about your competition can boost your blog.

Take a look at this example from AOL. AOL is promoting its competition to increase the number of followers on Twitter. They offer a summer package of prizes. To learn more about the contest, participants who want to participate must click on the AOL blog.

 

 

AOL

11. Promoting tweets

 

Promoted Tweets - pretty inexpensive advertising options provided by Twitter. They can help to distribute your content in the target market. Instead of just showing my channel followers, tweet will appear in the channels of other users. You can adjust the promoted tweets that they were aimed at geography, interests, and even to use the device by keywords.

Promoting tweets that contain a link to one of your blog posts, you can broadcast your tweets Twitter users who do not normally see them. This is an effective and classy way to bring new traffic to your blog.

Look, Jeff Bulas used Promoted Tweets to drive more traffic to its popular blog on digital marketing. The icon on the left shows that this is a paid tweet, but it is very thin. His tweet is straightforward and includes numbers, so that it stands out on the timeline Twitter.

 

 

Jeff Bullas

12. Add a link to your bio

 

The Twitter bio is something your followers (and others) see when they visit you on Twitter. It will not change unless it changes. It lends your blog a great opportunity to get even more traffic.

Add the link to your blog or your blog biologist or even certain blog posts. Both sections have clickable connectivity. You can enter your CTA followers to provide clicks from your blog.

For example, if you have a large article you are writing and want to drive traffic for a few weeks, make a CTA and enter the bio. List the benefits of clicking on some of the above tweets.

Mari Smith uses this tactic to drive traffic to a specific landing page on her blog. This special link cleverly brings you an article about Mari's new Facebook Marketing Online Course. Already a very popular bloga is a smart way to get more traffic.

 

how to get traffic from twitter

Conclusion

Cross-promoting your blog posts via Twitter can be very beneficial in getting more traffic to your blog. It also gives you very exciting content to tweet about!

What do you think? Have you tried any of these Twitter marketing methods? What has worked for you? What has not worked out so well for you