Screwing up with Google - Consequences of bad decisions in marketing

May 8, 2012 / by Michael K. Redman

Do you want to be found in Google?  Do you want to reap the benefits of consistently being found in Google and not losing your ranking? Then think about this.

About two months ago, give or take a couple of weeks, Google updated the way that they grade websites and deem them eligible to show up on the first page for your search question.  This page is set apart for the most relevant websites based on how you asked your search question.  Most of the time this works well but sometimes a website shows up that is not very helpful.  This means you aren't happy with it because it's not useful or as Google would say, relevant to your query.  Often these sites show up because they are gaming the system in one way or another and that makes Google unhappy.  And when Google is unhappy they do something about it.  The latest update was nicknamedPenguin and Penguin changed some things for one of my clients. Here is the story.

We have a fairly new and small client that got hit pretty hard witht the new update. What I mean is that they were showing up on the first page for  several search terms and then they lost all of them.  That sucks! It took us completely off guard and we have been looking hard to get more clues about what happened.

We figured out several reasons for this mishap but today I was reading a blog by  called "The Penguin Update and how Google identifies spam" when we figured out another huge problem. Mark Cutts of Google said they would go after and penalize websites that were, "engaging in webspam tactics to manipulate search engine rankings." When I read this I realized the huge problem our client had that was probably causing a large percentage of his problem.

You see, our client had a link building company before us create literally thousands of links to their domain in a relatively short amount of time.  We knew about them when we started and knew that he had been taken advantage of since the majority of them were not even considered valid by any of the major search engines.  It occured to me after reading the blog article that these links where actually permanent examples, like evidence, left all over the internet telling Google that they in fact had been trying to manipulate the system in a spammy way.  Google has now figured out how to find this evidence and go after offenders whether you know it or not.  My client does not understand the problem or the severity and he didn't know he had hired a company that would do things that hurt him.  His excuse is that there was no way to know.  The reality is that he chose someone based on low cost and picked someone without checking them out.  This is a huge lesson for us, our client and for everyone else, including you.

If you want to be found in Google and get more traffic to your website you must learn enough to make wise decisions when hiring an SEO company or an Internet Marketing firm.  Do you know their track record?  They don't have to be rock stars to get you good results but they do have to be honest and trustworthy people.  Talk with them and see if your gut would trust them with your mother or your daughter.  If not find another company.

You also need to discover if they are competent at their craft.  Both Competence AND Character are at the foundation of trust and in this new world of Internet Marketing you need two things:

  1. You must be marketing on the Internet to survive the long haul.
  2. You need a company that is learning and growing because no one knows all the answers.  Good companies are watching how things change and trying to uncover why.

Are you marketing on the Internet?
Do you work with a company who are truly expert learners in this area?

If you said no to the first question then get going.  You cannot afford to wait.  Everyday you do means more people are getting in front of you.  If you said no to the second question then find a company that will help you and that you can trust. It is worth the time to figure it out.  That is what we do for our clients and it pays off in the end... if you're patient.

Good luck and good marketing. :)

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