PageRank Redemption: Escaping the Prison of a Low Google Ranking
Posted by Ashtyn Douglas on January 20, 2014 in Internet Marketing, SEO [ 0 Comments ]
Along with millions of Americans, I’m a sucker for the tear-inducing film Shawshank Redemption and can’t resist sinking into my couch for two hours when the critically acclaimed feature is on TV. The motif of the nostalgic film, according to Roger Ebert, centers around the idea of the loss of integrity and worth one feels when they’re trapped in a hopeless situation. When Morgan Freeman shrugs off the idea of ever leaving prison as unrealistic, one can’t help but shout “Don’t give up, Red!”. Or at least I can’t.
Not to presume Google is a prison in which all small businesses are trapped, but sometimes SMB owners existing outside the world of SEO and online marketing can feel a bit hopeless when looking at the low page rank of their website due to frequent algorithm updates. Big companies oftentimes have the resources to swiftly escape low page rankings into the top seeds, but what can a small company do to improve page rank and avoid Google penalties? By slowly chipping away at the confining elements of your website that are keeping you from rising to the top. So get out your hammer and start with these steps:
1. Answer Frequently Asked Questions
With the most recent Google algorithm update, Hummingbird, the ruling search engine is paying more attention to natural semantic language. This newly refined “search intelligence” focuses on real-life questions that users ask when utilizing the platform and recognizes the “how”, “what”, “why”, “where”, “when” questions to quickly return answers rather than results.
This means you’ll have to ensure your website’s content is actually answering the questions of those seeking your business. If a user searches “Where is the closest bakery to my location?” your newly optimized bakery website better answer that question. Or if potential customers search “How much do commercial window cleaning services cost?”, your price should be displayed in the appropriate context on your site. Take a moment to research your customers’ top questions through surveys, comments, and internal brainstorming sessions.
2. Create Quality and Mobile-Friendly Content
Keyword stuffing is a thing of the past. Google will now quickly recognize any keyword stuffing and penalize your site faster than you can blink. Although keyword optimization is still of utmost importance, focus more intently on creating valuable content to your users. This means updating your blog once or twice a week with information about your product and services, offering insight into your industry and becoming a credible thought leader. Formulate a content management calendar that outlines the creation, delivery, and analysis of your blog posts so you can manage these projects according to your tight schedule.
Before you start to curate new and engaging content, make sure whatever you create will be mobile-user friendly. Your site, published eBooks, and designed infographics should all be in responsive design. Google users are executing more and more searches from their smartphone, and because Google strives for excellent customer service, their algorithm returns the most relevant content based on the device in use.
3. Optimize Your Link Building Strategies through Social
Dispersing links that point back to your website is a fantastic way to dig yourself out of a low pagerank, but it must be done with care. When you create quality content that people are more likely to share with their social networks, your URL links start to spread like wildfire. So before farming out mass amount of links to guest sites and your social networks, start with a solid foundation in high-calibre content. From that point, make sure you share your blog updates or any crafted content with followers on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Vine, YouTube, etc.
Planned or not, URLs shared on Google+ are identified and indexed rapidly by Google. Regularly updating your Google+ page and remaining relevant in your industry’s communities will present your name and content in front of more Google users and amplify your link’s equity if shared by others.
What to Do when You’re Free
Regardless of the many times I’ve seen the heart-breaking movie, I all about burst into tears every time I watch Brooks struggle to adjust to normal society once he is released from prison. Once you start to escape the lower rankings, keep a close eye on your past, current, and newly created content with Google’s free tools available for the small business owner. Google Analytics allows you to monitor the success of your site’s content with page views, bounce rates, unique visits, and conversion rates. Google Penalty Checker explains your site’s risk of receiving Google penalties due to recent updates, in simple layman’s terms.
Protagonist and inmate Andy Dufresne finally escapes the confines of his hopeless situation- but after two decades of whittling away at his cell wall with a hammer. With these 3 steps in mind, escaping a low Google pagerank shouldn’t take a quarter of century, but will allow you whittle away, step by step at the walls that are keeping you from online success.
(Image Source: freedigitalphotos.net)