Since the recent two Google updates – Panda and Penguin, many so called SEO guru’s have gotten themselves in trouble and had sites penalized by Google.

The main issue that some will find is their linking strategy. Keyword density was always talked about but that now extends to sites that link back to you. Too many links that use the same keyword or phrase is not natural, so if you find your traffic dipped since the 24th of April, you may have become victim to the penguin update.

This could be due to links submitted years ago! You may have taken up a deal to get 1,000+ plus backlinks to your site for an absolute bargain. It sounded to good to be true. Well, as you are now discovering, it was to good to be true.

So where to from here? What you need to now do is dilute your back-linking.

For example, if you have a URL that has been over submitted with the hyper-linked text “speed humps” you need to either do one of two things.

1) Try to source more relevant links using similar but alternative words. e.g. speed humps could be changed to something similar such as speed bumps.

2) Request site owner that link to you to remove or reword links. You can find the links from your Google Webmaster Tools and do a who is search to contact the owner.

A great tool for finding similar key phrases is Google’s own keyword tool. This will also benefit site owners that were not affected as you may find yourself getting traffic from more niched key phrases that you were not aware of.

If changing your linking strategy seems to be an impossible task, as Matt Cutts (head of Google’s quality search team) suggests, you could start over. A new site on a new domain then redirect all traffic from the old domain.

While this option would scare almost every site owner, if your business got most of it’s traffic through Google’s organic search before the penguin update, it could be the quickest way to get it back in there.

I am a huge fan of new web 2.0 article sites such as Hubpages and Squidoo. Any place that allows me to put a handful of keyword tags on my article is a bonus as it increases the amount of exposure to your article in the search engines.

As an SEO specialists, I am always looking for new places to place content. While the mission is to spread content far and wide covering all corners of the internet, you also have to be a bit selective looking for sites that will still be around in a couple years.

Alexa can be a great resource for this. The higher the site’s rank is in Alexa tells you that the site is getting plenty of traffic. Traffic usually means the site is making plenty of money and money keeps the site alive.

The two sites I found this week are very similar to Squidoo and Hubpages, you may even call them clones. That’s how I found them in Google! I was actually looking to make my own similar website. The advantage of running my own article site is people (like me) would add content to them to build up links to their website.

Anyway, I am getting off track again. Here are two web 2.0 sites that you should get some content on. Not only will it be content that you can link back to your main website, but you can also make money from them through popular affiliate programs such as Google Adsense or Amazon.

WizzleyWizzley

Great new Squidoo like site. A bit stricter than Squidoo though, you need to submit articles with 400 or more words to get you article accepted. Also, it will know if your article is not very original, so try to write from scratch or you will run into a few issues. With a pagerank of 4 and a Alexa ranking of 24,847 at the time of this post, looks like Wizzley is here to stay.

Zujava

Sign up for Zujava.com: Simple online publishing.Great little Hubpages clone, that reminds me of the early Hubpages days. This one you only need 250 words to get your articles though. It has a Google pagerank two, which is quite good for such a new site. It’s Alexa ranking in 128,574 at the time of posting, but is hugely popular in the US and has increased +1190% in traffic in the last three months and should continue to grow.

pinterest, marketing,Pinterest is one of the fastest growing sites around.

Why? It’s simple and addictive. You add a Pin It bookmarklet and then when you come across a cool picture on the net you pin it. These pins are shared on boards and can be viewed by millions of other pinners out there.

How can pinterest help your website?

Say you have a blog and you put a really cool picture on it. Pinterest can be the tipping point (Great Malcolm Gladwell book reference in there!) that sends a viral wave of traffic to your website.

Here is an example of what I am talking about. I added a quote I found from Facebook …

pinterest, traffic, backlinks,

Cool quote. What happened next surprised me. Someone liked it and repinned it. One of their friends must have thought it was pretty cool too and repinned it also. Then their friends pinned it and so on.

At the time of this post it has been repinned by 1,399 people and liked 292.

Imagine if this was an image on your website, maybe some decorative cupcakes or some mouth watering recipe. This could be a very easy way to get no cost traffic to your website or blog if used in the correct way.

So if you are not already on Pinterest, what are you waiting for? Your competition may already be there.

Doing quite a lot of SEO these days it is very hard to make the time to get out of the house. Have been working on some content about all sorts of bollards from removable bollards to solar bollards.

Managed to get out last weekend for a few drinks with mates and managed to mix a bit of business with pleasure. I now have access to a few people who have great copy writing skills!

I was able to quickly setup a website and drop in a newly created article from one of my copy writers and dadah! I now have a fresh website to create well written articles that link back to the clients website. The site made was called what are bollards? Which incidentally, gets 110,000 global searches in Google per month.

Kind of bizarre that this high competition Adwords keyphrase was still available in .com!

One thing I do love about my SEO gig is how absorbed you can get while doing a link building campaign. While walking in between the pubs of Melbourne on Friday night I was almost unaware of how many types of bollards are all around us, but would otherwise take no notice of. “Is that a top locking bollard…”, I hear myself mutter.

So after a night of drinking … and possibly one too many bollard related conversations it kind of clicked that there are some parts of my work that I should be able to outsource and keep my work to the same high standard.

Content! There are plenty of more talented content writers that I can get to focus on well written articles and then I can distribute the articles around the web.

This should free me up to take on more work or have a social life. But knowing me I will probably just take on more work!

I love Google Docs! It’s a handy online way to store and collaborate documents online.

I have been using it for ages but it seems to be getting even better. Much more features (especially with spreadsheets) and a sleeker interface.

I have only managed to use up 51% of my 1 gig free cloud hosting, but will no doubt upgrade when the time comes as the prices are very good.

One thing I have had in the back of my mind for a while now is leveraging Google Docs for SEO. Surely any public documents that link back to a website would be a great advantage to a business? Google Docs has a PageRank of 8!

So the experiment I am conducting is to monitor how Google webmaster tools treats documents stored in Google Docs.

I created a document for one of my current SEO clients. The private link can be found here.

Next Step, convert it to a PDF and upload it back to Google Docs. It is now public with the title Custom Timber Furniture Melbourne.

I hope to do an updated post in the future with results.

Doing a little SEO at the moment for a local furniture store servicing Melbourne and am starting to get the results on the board.

Their website is a static HTML site, which is painful to work with as each page has it’s own file. I am so used to changing all the pages from one file not 20 or so different files! Today I logged in via FTP to add some IMG ALT tags to a couple of images that hyperlink to main pages.

One SEO advantage a static HTML website has over a content management system is that it can load much quicker as it does not have to make requests to a database.

Connected to the website is a Zencart shopping cart which I have made a few SEO tweaks to leverage the 500+ pages of shopping cart furniture items back to the main site.

My keywords this month – Furniture Melbourne, Custom Furniture and Timber Furniture.

Some of the strategies I have been using this week are to take advantage of popular article sites and create some re-spun articles from some of the ones I have received from the client.

How do I re-spin an article some may ask? Manually. It’s the only way to get a decent result that is human readable. I have tried article spinning software in the past with some pretty poor results. For example, my phrase of “how to create custom furniture”, could be translated to “fitting procedure construct within”.

??? WTF! Much better off re-writing the article from scratch and making as readable as possible with only a few SEO tweaks to point back to the clients website.

This has had some great results in the past. Why? Because similar articles link to my content and vice versa. This means that strong similar content is already linked to your article which then in turn is linked to the clients website.

Over time these articles can become even stronger, hopefully gaining page rank and high placement in the search engines.

Got a new short-term SEO gig for a local jazz band based in Melbourne which should net some great results for the client.

The keywords I will be aiming to build in the search engines will be …

  1. wedding music
  2. wedding bands
  3. wedding bands Melbourne
  4. wedding ceremony music
  5.  corporate entertainment

At the start of this project, only one keyphrase¬† was listed in Google … at about 55 (six pages deep!!!)

After a few hours of SEO, I have checked one week later and three pages are now indexed. Still a few pages down, but definitely on the move.