Screw you GoogleOn April 24th 2012 Google released its latest algorithm update – see the official Google webmaster blog for details.

This update was designed to increase quality by targeting over optimization and filtering out more of the spammy websites from the search results. Ironically it seems to have done the opposite.

If you’ve been on any internet marketing forums in the last few days you may have noticed a LOT of website owners complaining that many or ALL of their websites have lost the majority of their Google traffic.

Not only this, but the forums are full of people posting examples of spammy, low quality search results.

I’ve done a fair number of searches on Google over the last couple of days and have come across a lot of the following things:

  • blogspot blogs and web 2.0 style sites ranking highly
  • completely irrelevant results on page one and two of Google for many keywords
  • scraper sites appearing on page 1 and 2 of results
  • repetition – many sites ranking again and again on the same page of results
  • sites blocked by my anti virus software!
  • thin sites with hardly any content ranking highly (including 404 errors)

As some people are saying in the forums it is like going back into the late 90’s to the days of Altavista!

If you are interested in reading or getting involved in the discussions about this, here are a few good threads to check out:

Jonathan Leger’s forum thread  – Major Google Update

Warrior Forum – Google Algo Change

Webmaster World – Google Launches Update targeting spam… again?

One of the most talked about spammy results was the #1 site for “make money online”. This was a blogspot page with no content whatsoever on the first page apart from the word “Make”.  Google must have manually intervened on this embarrassing slip up though, as the site is no longer there.

Another dodgy result has Kentucky University ranking on page #1 of Google for the keyword “Viagra”. Chris Crum has devoted a whole blog post to this if you are looking for some amusement.

Jonathan Leger spotted an interesting result for the keywords “dog training” – the SEONuke software website was ranking for that keyword on page 2.

A few of my own sites have been affected by this Google update, but thankfully not all of them. I’ve also chatted to a lot of other people today who have been impacted and I’ve noticed some of my competitor’s sites have been blown out of the water. Interestingly my traffic from Bing and Yahoo has also increased a lot over recent weeks, so I wonder if some people are turning to other search engines for more sensible results.

From what I have read so far, many people are in panic mode and I don’t think anyone really knows what the solution is at this stage – it is too early to tell. Yes, there are plenty people suggesting solutions in the forums, but I prefer to wait a while and see if there are any improvements in the search results.

If anything, I think all the recent Google algorithm updates of the last few months have taught us one lesson – do not rely solely on Google for all your traffic. If you’ve had success with search engine rankings in the past it can be very easy to rely too much on Google as the traffic is so targeted and almost becomes automatic after a while. If you’ve not been doing so already I recommend adding a few more traffic strategies to your promotion strategy. Here are a few that I currently use:

  • Build a List – yeah, yeah, you’ve heard it all before – “the money is in the list”. If you are not doing this now you really need to start.
  • Do Ad Swaps, Solo Ads and JVs with other marketers. I’ve been using Safe Swaps for the past year and I highly recommend taking a look.
  • Cheap paid advertising – there are many options available now and it doesn’t cost a lot of money to test. I just read a great WSO last week called White Trash Traffic which was a great source of cheap places to buy traffic
  • Facebook – build your own Facebook page, or use Facebook ads to get more traffic.
  • Find affiliates – if you have your own product, seek out some affiliates to promote for you in return for a commission.

There are plenty more traffic methods available – you may want to check out my 30 Ways to Get Traffic in 30 Minutes or Less EBook for some more suggestions.

If you got to the end of this blog post, thanks for reading my rant! Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Have you been impacted by the latest Google ranking update?

Have you found any amusing results in Google over the last couple of days?

Are you using other strategies to build traffic besides SEO?

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