Don't let Google scold you!
Google is sometimes referred to as the "Google god" because it is seen as the gatekeeper of organic traffic. It seems omnipresent and universal. The very spelling of Google looks like two eyes watching you! Do you remember what you did before Google when you wanted to get answers? Doesn't it seem like it's always been there?
You can build a business online while using good SEO practices.
The SEO Bad Guys and Gals
Years ago, Google proclaimed certain SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tactics as "black hat," meaning shady and bad. Bloggers and business owners were just trying to get the system to work for them. Most were just figuring out how it all works. Lots of folk got their hands slapped by the Google god.
The Google people continue to try to prevent cheating online!
If you're new to the online business scene, here's a quick explanation:
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is fixing your website so that when people search for answers, they will find you on page one of the search results. How to best do that changes each time Google rolls out a new algorhythm. You may hear people refer to "Panda" or "Penguin," which are names Google gave to the two most recent big changes. Each time they change, internet marketers have to change their practices.
Organic traffic is the beauty of internet marketing. It's free marketing juice. It's like putting up a shingle for the whole world to see. You just have to know how to make it visible to your ideal clients or customers. It's not all about location anymore, but about visibility.
How to Stay on Google's Good Side
It is marvelously simple! Follow the golden rule. Let your business grow naturally, without artificial automated systems. What do I mean by that? Well, if you've ever had to fill out a captcha form, that's one method of preventing "bots" or automated software from signing up for things. I get all kinds of spam comments on my blogs, which is why I have to approve your comment before allowing it to appear. The spam comments look authentic at a glance, but when you read them, it's obvious they are automated.
If you're trying to market your business online, you may have found some businesses advertising the automated systems that do that. If you want a good reputation online, avoid those like the plague!
Here's one example:
What a great web log. I spend hours on the net reading blogs, about tons of various subjects. I have to first of all give praise to whoever created your theme and second of all to you for writing what i can only describe as an fabulous article…
It was unrelated to the post the comment appeared on. Sometimes I go to the facebook pages of those who post these just out of curiosity. Some don't exist. They just are not real people. Some look like nice people, but they were talked into buying some kind of automated system to get "backlinks." I report their comments as spam. It's something you don't want to be caught doing as it's a great way to get banned! Sometimes I get comments that say something like, Gee, George, I'm so sorry about your diagnosis. I'm obviously not George, and my blog post was not about any diagnosis.
Getting Backlinks the Right Way
If you want to learn more about what Google considers bad these days, check out Matt Cutt's (CEO of Google) blog. In his August 27 post, he discusses why a newspaper website's ranking dropped. Apparently they bought backlinks. Google doesn't approve of this. Our websites are ranked well if we have good backlinks that happen naturally. People see value in something we write and link to our post or article.
Search Engine Watch has a great post on how to get backlinks the right way.
In my next post, I'll discuss how social media helps us to get found. I'm really curious to know how you found me today. I'd love it if you'd comment and tell me what you searched for and which search engine you used! Or did you get here via social media?