We already covered the Google update that took place a few days back. Although Matt Cutts called it a minor update with around 0.7% queries affected, the results are out and the mainly affected sites are the EMD (Exact Match Domain) with low content richness. Some real sites who got hit badly are
- www.bmicalculatormale.com (#4)
- www.charterschools.org (#7)
- playscrabble.net (#3)
- www.purses.org (#3)
- www.teethwhitening.com (#4)
where the rank inside the parentheses are the ranks before the update, now these sites are not on the first 10 pages of the SERP.
Exact Match Domains are trickily named websites. They use popular keywords as their website name and traditionally, Google placed them high enough on the SERP as the site name and keyword match exactly. Let’s take an imaginary example of the very popular keyword, “download free software”. If you have a website called downloadfreesoftware.com, till few days ago, you could have been sure of having a presence on the first SERP. But no more, Google has cracked down heavily on these sites who offered next to nothing content and misguided the users often. Keeping the philosophy “serving fresh useful content” intact, Google has kicked these sites away from SERP very badly.
What are the experts saying about recovery? First and foremost it is going to be difficult, very very difficult. Still you can try a few steps. There have been news of partial success using any or all of these steps. The best way to go perhaps is to hire an affordable yet effective SEO company.
- Delete whatever low quality content you have on your site, that is what Google targeting, not your site. Get rid of the bad company immediately. Add a non-index metatag.
- Check your homepage, landing pages for different keywords and see if they are optimized too much. If yes, try to tone down. Google doesn’t like too much enthusiasm about SEO recently
- Provide unique, fresh and Copyscape passed contents only.
- The less popular pages, try to optimize those but don’t overdo it.
- Branding. Easier said than done of course. There is no harm in trying though. You can try to build referral traffic, get experts to write for your blog. Microsoft started in a garage, remember?
- Social Media Optimization (SMO). Try to get as many +1s or Facebook Likes as you can. Let your site spread by recommendation and word of mouth. This is the best publicity of all types. People trust friends more than they trust Google.
- If nothing works (God forbid!) just copy and paste all your contents to a different URL and redirect using 401 your remaining traffic there and build new traffic there.
Clients of Search Eccentric can be happy as no sites which are managed by us are hit by this update but there has been news of totally innocent sites getting ruined.