If winter is coming, what do you do?
“Winter is Coming” was my most read article of the last twelve months.
Little did I know the first fall blizzard was about to hit…
700,000 Google webmaster tool “love letters” have been shared in January and February.
More than the entire amount of messages sent in 2011…
Colleagues started receiving this charming notice in their Google Webmaster account (Never heard of a Google Webmaster account? Oh Dear. You need to learn stat, we have a great course in the Edge).
This is actually ultra friendly of Google, in the last long search winter you were exterminated with extreme prejudice. One day you were there, one day you were gone. No explanation, your business a smoking ruin overnight.
What do you do if you get a Google Webmaster Tool Love Letter?
If you discover yourself in this situation, Guru Bob took an excellent analytical look at this for Edge Members during the week.
If you used Build My Rank, they have provided a tool to remove BMR links. Two points on BMR
- From afar (I never used them) they seem to be dealing with their de-indexing in a very stand up way.
- I’ve read some blog posts suggesting you don’t remove links, that this is a Google double fake – In my opinion, that’s Crazy talk and you need to axe those links stat.
Don’t Calm Down, Get Off Your Ass and get serious about your online business (or go and do something else)!!
Not to put too fine a point on it.
Are you doing this for fun, as a bit of a hobby? Or are you serious about developing a business online?
Look, nothing wrong with treating this as a hobby. Learning and educating myself was a delicious pastime for at least 10 years. It’s OK. Feel free to use the coming long search winter as a great excuse to jump out head held high!
It wasn’t your fault. It was “mean old google” making it tough for the little guy, and hey, in the Northern Hemisphere – in the real world – summer is coming. Feel free to tell yourself that.
It’s total crap.
But if it makes you feel better about watching a summer reality series instead of working on your online business, knock yourself out.
BABY AND BATH WATER
Google, in the hazy days of the search summer, would shut down the occasional blog network when it could be bothered. It didn’t really effect people much. You lost some links, you weren’t penalised. No matter, there’s plenty more where that came from…
This time, they closed down the network and then went after the customers – this is new, it’s a bit terrifying, but it’s hardly the end of the world. In the last search winter, this was almost a weekly occurrence, you adapted, rugged up for the winter and stayed mobile.
Or your business froze and died.
SO WHAT ABOUT X SERVICE?
Let me give you our honest view.
WE HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA, and unless you’re sitting in on one of those internal Google committee’s anyone else who says anything different is full of it.
What we do know;
- Google has said they are making a major sweep on “overly optimised SEO sites”.
- The Blog Network “Build My Rank” was deindexed.
- In what was a “new and exciting” development, it appears Google has gone after customers of “Build My Rank” by giving them the lovely notice above via Google Webmaster Tools.
- It appears Google is giving those customers a second chance to clear out dodgy links.
It’s important to point out that “Build My Rank” was a good old blog network, the type of network that would’ve lasted about six weeks in the last search winter. The fact it lasted as long as it did just showed what lazy, hazy days of summer we had.
A lot of my friends use article distribution services like Article Samurai, Article Marketing Automator and Ultimate Article Wizard.
These sites distribute articles you submit to blogs that have requested content. It’s a very different approach to “Build My Rank”, They have not been affected.
Could they be? I have no idea. I do know I don’t use any link building techniques at all here at eddale.co
I try to write stuff that’s interesting to me and if people enjoy it and spread it around it builds my audience. i’ve been doing it for seven years.
I should say, in the The Challenge we don’t use any link building services at all. Challengers have nothing to worry about from this early blizzard.
HOW MANY TIMES DO WE NEED TO SAY IT!
How many times does Google have to say it. Put great, relevant, content on your site and people will love it and spread it around, if they do, Google will reward the page with a decent ranking for phrases it deems relevant.
In the old days they would’ve said “link to the content” and this is Googles fundamental problem. No one “links” to anything any more, certainly not Joe and Jane Smith.
Joe and Jane Smith “like” stuff, they “tweet” stuff, they “Pin” stuff…
They don’t link stuff.
They don’t +1 stuff either (but that’s an article for another day).
How do you know if you have a problem?
- Only have traffic coming from one source or worse, key phrase – You Have A Problem.
- Used paid link building strategies that use privately owned blog networks – You Have A Problem.
- Are not in the Top 20 influencers in your market (or have no clue how to get there.) – You Have A Problem.
- Don’t know the key stats about your site, How many Unique Visitors to your site did you have last month? Could not answer in 30 seconds? You Have A Problem.
- Don’t know what Google Webmaster Tools is. You Have A Problem.
- Downloaded “Draw Something” after a dear friend from Manchester kept raving on about it. You. Have. A. Problem.
“A Problem Is Not A Death Sentence”
Unless you want it to be (See above)…
If you’re serious about your business, you’ll work your plan (and have blocked off time every working day to do so in your calendar).
Remember, most of the people who are successful today made their bones in the last search winter. It thins out the weak and the half-assed, the pretenders, the hobbyists and coffee shop lobbyists.
The winter favours the realist, the plodder, the nose to the grindstone grinder.
You just have to decide who you’re going to be. Are you going to Step Up?
Or are you going to Step Off?
It’s your choice.