Google’s most recent algorithm change (Penguin and Panda 3.6 updates) has caused a frenzy in the webmaster world. Webmasters who have received the warning are now doing what I would call “reverse-linkbuilding” which is to remove all backlinks pointing to their site to avoid being penalized in any way by Google. All the blood, sweat and tears to increase SEO…and now these backlinks are on the express train to hell.
Google Does Not Owe You Traffic!
I firmly believe that the idea to live by right now is to pretend that Google does not exist (let’s just say it doesn’t). How will your website survive without Google? The method we would all be using is to promote our links on as many quality or high-traffic websites as possible with the hope that these website visitors will see our links and visit our own website.
The Penguin update is not Google’s first and it will not be Google’s last (some of you might remember the Florida Update in 2003 – although I wasn’t a webmaster back in those days). This does not mean you should take down all your backlinks.
Chaos In The Attempt Of “Reverse-SEO”
Over the past few weeks I’ve been receiving losts of emails from webmasters urging me to take their links off some of my websites (they put it there themselves). Instead of asking me to consider changing their links to nofollow, they’ve told me to take it down altogether. When you live your life depending on another website you are as dependent as an employee. You place a lot of importance to what others can do to help you put food on the table, as opposed to focusing on what you can do for them. What would you do if Google did not exist? What would you do if Google ever disappears or Google kicks your site off their search engine for good? What do you do when push comes to shove?
Perhaps it is time to cut the cord?
Let’s face it: you’re in this mess because your strategy or someone else’s for your website emphasized on Black Hat SEO according to Google’s Penguin update. Now you feel that you do not have a choice but to take down all your backlinks because Google is not pleased at what you’ve been doing, and you need to get out of their blacklist.
Google Only Means Well!
Don’t get me wrong, I respect Google and I definitely support Google’s algorithm change. I believe that they are doing what they can to provide better search results for their users. I do my best to play a straight game and keep my link-building strategies as White Hat as my white cat (okay, minus her black patches).
Goldilocks SEO: It Needs To Be Just Right!
Having said that, the aim is to promote your website and drive in targeted traffic. The irony is that you have received the Google warning because you’ve successfully raised your PR through link building. Remember that you should not over-do nor under-do SEO. It’s got to be just right. Take a deep breath before you react. This does not mean you need to take down every single backlink to your site. Forget PR for a second – how much traffic is being driven from each backlink?
Kill Yourself Or Be Killed?
Something to consider: if you do not kill your backlinks, Google will kill your site’s performance in the SERPs. If you do kill your backlinks, you are going to kill your own site’s performance on the SERPs. If you choose to take down all backlinks to your site, not only will your site not perform well on the SERPs but it will also not benefit from visitors coming in from these other websites.
How To Move On?
The Penguin update has been complete. Your site has either been affected or it hasn’t. If you have been affected, you should now take steps to move forward. You are now looking at “cure” and not “prevention”. Work on content and use other means of advertising – both online and offline to get people visiting your site and hopefully getting the word out there by sharing your URL, enough to drive in more traffic. If you’re advertising on a large number of high PR pages, consider including the nofollow code so link juice does not flow into your webpage enough to increase its PR. Do not solely rely on Google for traffic, you do not want to put all your eggs in one basket. Most importantly, persevere!