Google Cracks the Whip: How to Protect Your Page Rank

Major brands with vast IT departments and top digital agencies on the payroll, like Overstock.com, Forbes.com and J.C. Penny,  still sometimes suffer Google’s wrath when it comes to alleged page rank shenanigans. The following are three ways to protect your pagerank without giving up your autonomy and marketing strategy. At the end of the article, we’ve included a link to the Web Analytics Association’s latest guide to SEM, a great resource for forming thoughtful strategy.

 

1. Use Genuine Links

Overstock.com didn’t and instead provided product discounts in exchange for links, using specific anchor text to certain URLs from .edu sites. There was even a document published outlining the proposal.

The Solution: Work with your digital agency to develop a network of genuine links that don’t employ shady tactics to garner clicks.

 

2. Beware of 3rd Party Networks

Even the venerable Forbes got a hand-slap from Google, possibly because of  a former affiliation with a paid-link provider called Conductor, according to research by Techcrunch. Conductor has since left the paid-link business, selling its assets to another company.

The Solution: Manage all link-building company affiliations on a one-to-one basis. Don’t allow your page rank to be handled by companies that farm out link activities to 3rd parties.

 

3. Build A Strong Structure

That’s right, back to basics. That entails sensible, keyword -rich anchor text, title tags and a strong Twitter strategy as Google is now including Tweets in search results. Keyword-stuffing is a no, as are redirects and all the other Black Hat seo gaming that sometimes sneaks into legitimate SEO strategy.

The Solution: The most solid way to raise rank is content, fresh and relevant, that will bring you clicks and raise brand awareness.”Any brand that seeks to cheat the system is fighting a losing battle,”  according to Skyword Inc CEO Tom Gerace . “As the public’s eyes are being opened to the gaming of search, the method of “winning” at search is changing – and brands looking to phone it in are about to be left behind.”

Want more? Download The Web Analytic Association’s latest report on SEM by Unica.