Every day for years Tedster was helping people in Webmasterworld. I was looking at some of his words that he wrote on his last day posting. Every day he offered great advice, but reading the last pieces of advice he gave, there’s some messages here… Below is some great advice from Ted on his last day posting in WebmasterWorld on June 6th 2013.
First, understand that it’s impossible for anyone outside of Google to give you the “exact cause” for a ranking drop. Long before Penguin and Panda webmasters were already seeing mysterious drops for one keyword.
1. I would double check ANY actions you’ve ever taken (on-site or off-site) that are specific to keywords – really look hard to see if those words are used naturally.
2. PR0, if you’ve never been higher, means you have very low backlinks, either low in number or low in quality or both.
#2 means to me that you need to make a long term project out of brand building. It’s really tough to improve rankings when your brand is weak.
Within your content, anchor text should be about what fits best in the sentence. That might even be “click here” at times.
In response to this question “Don’t good links to internal pages also transfer some domain authority, especially if you have plenty of internal pages getting good attention?”
Yes, if those links look natural to Google. Remember that home page PR gets circulated through the whole site via your navigational links – hence the importance of a good site architecture rather than seeing a site grow like a bunch of weeds.
It takes very special content to gain natural internal backlinks and I’m sure that Google knows what kind of percentage is the statistical norm.
… Yes, it probably has something to do with hoping to return “the” answer, eventually through the knowledge base. But clearly they aren’t there yet. On TV right now, I see Google advertising the “one answer” mode on mobile search. Mobile is also a very high priority for Google. They feel (and so do I} that mobile usage will rapidly become the majority of traffic.
[In response to] “Could it be safe to say that due to people removing backlinks in fear of penguin could have a negative affect on some sites.”
Yes, and even those sites to link to you may be having trouble, too – so their links have less power.
Here’s the deal, as I see it. SEO for Google used to be:
1. See a ranking drop
2′ Take an action to fix it
3. Wait for the change to show up
That was kind of a fun game for many years. But it doesn’t work that way any more, the fun game is gone, and that is frustrating for many.
More and more. it does take a base of long term efforts and brand building to have a sound foundation these days. That is just running a business. Sometimes the metrics Google uses are mysterious, and they definitely make errors. Still most sites who avoided or recovered from recent Google challenges have a strong brand and content that gets good user response.
This is a whole new SEO mindset for many who depended mostly on technical SEO in the past. Technical SEO still matters a lot, but that is only a foundation today. Yes, links still matter a lot – but they are a lot harder to dummy up these days.
In 2006 on my blog I asked people for their favorite quotes, and this was Ted’s that he offered:
“To live by another’s opinion of you is to make the absurd assumption that only in someone else’s mind are you real”
– Thomas Merton
Ted, you made such a difference to so many. You will be greatly missed.