Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Backlinks, Losing Rankings and Overoptimizing


SEO, Google's Penguin update, overoptimizing and losing rankings on Google.

The latest Google update to the search algorithm which took place at the end of April has to do with "overoptimizing." Web sites that Google considers "overoptimized" have lost their rankings in Google's search results. 

If the views to your Etsy shop, other online venue or your own stand alone web site have suddenly dropped in the past few weeks, here are the possible reasons:

Keyword Stuffing - this is the practice of overloading the web page with keywords, such as paragraphs of text that runs on and on, is filled with many keywords and do not make sense when read. I have never seen this in any Etsy shop that I have seen in the past 5 - 6 years but Etsy sellers might be Keyword Stuffng on their own web sites. 

No Content Above the Fold - If you have a web site that is all design or ads above the fold (the bottom of the screen before scrolling), your Web site could get "punished" for doing this. Google considers this low quality content.

Link Schemes - If you have been working on building backlinks for your Etsy shop or stand alone web site, you should be aware of the types of backlinks that Google does not like: Links intended to manipulate PageRank, Links to web spammers or bad neighborhoods on the web, Excessive reciprocal links or excessive link exchanging ("Link to me and I'll link to you."), Buying or selling links that pass PageRank.

Quality of Backlinks - For years, it did not matter which web sites linked to yours as long as your web site did not link to "bad" web sites (spammers, scammers, Link Farms, irrelevant web sites, etc). Now who links to your Web site or shop does matter a LOT. 
----If Google deems a web site to be irrelevant to yours (for example, a sports web site linking to a jewelry web site), Google will remove the link value passed by that link to your web page. If Google removes the link value from many web sites linking to your Etsy shop or stand alone web site, your rankings on Google will drop in the search results.
----If a known Spam web site links to your web site, your web site will lose rank value, even if you had nothing to do with getting the backlink from the known spam Web site.



Etsy sellers who hire link builders to build backlnks for their shop or web site must make sure that the link building person is aware of good links and worthless links or bad links that can harm your shop or web site. There are many low quality link builders who do not know the difference between good and bad lnks and will build backlinks anywhere and everywhere. Be sure to find out where your backlinks are coming from and remove those that are in "bad neighborhoods" (Google's words).

Anytime there is a Google update, there are always a lot of fears, rumors and misconceptions that follow. You can read more about this latest update on Google's own blog and know whether or not this applies to your shop or web site: http://insidesearch.blogspot.com/2012/04/another-step-to-reward-high-quality.html

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  1. Always good info, thanks Mary :-)..

  2. Thank you for the great post! I had no idea what exactly this Google Penguin was actually going to do to us small business owners. I will now be careful with my links!

  3. Is there anyway to check if your blog has been blacklisted, so to speak?