Xstremeology Blog

In our previous post we looked at a couple of ways to get your website banned from Google.  Today we are going to look at more tactics that will get you banned from Google's search.

  1. Use Doorway Pages - Google defines doorway pages as those that are large sets of poor-quality pages where each page is optimized for a specific keyword or phrase. Google always frowns upon manipulating search engines and deceiving users. In 2006, BMW suffered Google’s wrath for setting up doorway pages to attract search engines and redirect traffic to its German website, BMW’s page rank was reduced to zero. While BMW stated it did not intend to deceive users, the company added, “However, if Google says all doorway pages are illegal we have to take this into consideration."
  2. Selling links that pass PageRank violates Google’s quality guidelines; this includes advertorial pages with embedded links that pass PageRank. Google recently penalized Interflora, even removing it from branded search results, for using advertorials to solely influence search rankings. An example of this, is that Interflora reportedly sent bloggers floral arrangements in exchange for links. This was once considered a gray area, but is clearly black hat now.
  3. Scraped Content - In 2012, Google blacklisted a network of websites run by the family of U.K. Parliament member Grant Shapps after the search giant found the sites breached rules on copyright infringement and that they were based on scraped content. This latter black-hat tactic is typically when webmasters use content from other sites to try to increase credibility and the volume of pages.
  4. If your site belongs to a blog network whose purpose is to create backlinks, Google will de-index them and penalize you. In 2012, this happened to Build My Rank, which ultimately closed down and relaunched as HP Backlinks. The relaunch, however, has many people wondering if (and when) Google will go after the network again.  Your best option is to not purchase backlinks.

Keep in mind that when you get those email and calls from companies saying they can make you number one on Google, they are probably using some of the tactics that we have discussed over the two posts, so steer clear and use a reputable web company to handle your online presence. You will be glad you did.

Ref: Website Magazine March 2013

Google’s algorithms may be hard to understand, but the Webmaster Guidelines that it provides developers are pretty clear on what you can and cannot do when it comes to Search Engine Optimization.  To help you understand what NOT to do to try to get your site ranked higher we have covered some past and present examples of how to get your website banned by Google overnight. 

  1. Most importantly, beware those companies that call or email and say they can get you on the 1st page of Google in 30 days.  If it sounds too good to be true, in this case it is.  Run away.  (See #2 below)
  2. Don't participate in Link Schemes to manipulate search ranking.  Any links intended to manipulate a website’s ranking in Google search results may be considered a link scheme.  That was the case in 2011, when the New York Times uncovered a link-building scheme by J.C. Penney. The retailer was ranked number one for bedding, dresses, area rugs, and other vague and specific keywords, with “uncanny regularity” for several months. After consulting with an industry expert, the New York Times found 2,015 pages with phrases like “casual dresses,” “evening dresses,” “little black dress” or “cocktail dress,” which all bounced directly to the main page for dresses on 

    NYT excerpt: There are links to’s dresses page on sites about diseases, cameras, cars, dogs, aluminum sheets, travel, snoring, diamond drills, bathroom tiles, hotel furniture, online games, commodities, fishing, Adobe Flash, glass shower doors, jokes and dentists — and the list goes on.

    J.C. Penney said they did not authorize and were not involved or aware of the posting of links that the New York Times sent to them. J.C. Penney immediately fired their SEO agency, but not before Google took manual action against the brand for violating its guidelines. Overnight, J.C. Penney was vanished from search results for anything other than branded keywords (a.k.a. direct searches for J.C. Penney). It took about three months for J.C. Penney to move up the rankings and regain lost rankings.

On Thursday we will look at a few more of the tactics that can get you banned from Google.

Ref. Website Magazine March 2013

Here are some additional guidelines for having a successful website since the Panda update.

New Content

Panda does not require that all Web professionals suddenly become Pulitzer level authors, but a re-evaluation of your current content strategy is still a good idea. Even if it requires a temporary or outsourced hire, ensuring that all existing content meets the above criteria before embarking on any new link building efforts is critical.

The next step is to consider how your business can provide a high quality of useful content going forward, and that may require trying some new channels you have previously avoided until now. If your company is already producing regular blog posts and whitepapers that will draw in links from quality sites, perhaps now is the time to consider video, webinars and/or podcasts, and distribute them through YouTube, Vimeo, Viddler, Slideshare, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

Be social, but smart
The first, and most important part of building links in the Panda era is about producing useful content to which quality sites throughout your niche will want to link. The second and next most important part is about forging and building those relationships that will be the most valuable to your business.

Like the mention of video in the paragraph above, if you have not been taking proper advantage of social media until now, it is definitely time to start. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are three excellent places to start for finding and exchanging links with reputable websites in your specific niche or business category, but they are only the beginning. Building links in the Panda era requires a lot more work than previously, and hours of research and dozens of emails and phone calls may be required to build and maintain the necessary relationships with other website owners.

But be careful about the relationships you pursue, because the Panda algorithm will judge your business by the quality of the links you are able to build. That much has not changed; what has changed is the premium value put on today’s content, and the amount of work that will be required to create and distribute that content in order to build the quality links that will net the best search results.

If you happened not to know what the Google Panda updated search algorithm is, you really should.  Google's Panda Update is a filter originally introduced in February 2011 meant to stop sites with poor quality content from working their way into Google's top search.

Most online businesses are having to make adjustments to achieve the desired search rankings under the new algorithm, and your approach to building links has to change as well. No longer do the old rules of link building apply, where you could purchase links to your site.  Those will only hurt your ranking.  A well defined link-bulding plan is your best option now.

Here are some guidelines to build links post Panda: 

Check Your Site First
The goal of the Panda update is to improve the quality of content on the Web, thus improving the quality of Google’s search results. Sites that engage in content farming or otherwise low-quality content creation have been the primary targets, and the updated algorithm was designed to punish those sites by significantly lowering their search rankings.  Have lots of pages with duplicate content is one of the worst things you can do (Ex. having pages for each state saying you do business in that state but that has mostly the same content except for the different state names and a few other words).

The way that this effects link building going forward is that businesses must be very careful about whom they share and receive links.  Linking to and from sites that Google has deemed as having a low quality content is a virtual death sentence. Before starting any new link building initiatives, businesses and website owners must ensure that their sites do not fall into this category.

A professional design is imperative, as are acceptable page load speeds and signals of trust that provide clear indications to users and other businesses that your business website is a reputable destination. Most important, of course, and the whole reason behind Panda, is the ability to produce quality content that is useful, accurate, authoritative, current and free of grammatical and spelling errors.

In our next article, we will look at more guidlines for Panda.

So now you have a blog and know how to find content, but how can you make it even better?  Variable content.  Search engines and consumers love varied forms of content on blogs.  From video, to audio to photos, don't leave any of these out when creating blog posts.  This type of content really engages the reader and it provides great SEO benefits.  How to videos, product information videos, project photos, finished product photos, podcasts, etc., can be great tools to get messages across and are archivable on major platforms such as YouTube, iTunes, etc., which gives you even more visibility and the opportunity for anyone to find you.

Another way to get information out that would normally be boring is to create Infographics.  An Infographic is a visual representation of data/content that would normally be very boring and lengthy to read.  Infographics are also heavily shared and linked to from may sites.  Infogen (, offers a large variety of infographics to use as inspiration as well as a place to share yours.

You can also utilize surveys of your current customers and subscribers to see what type of content they would like to see.  This information can be invaluable, because if they asked for it they will read it and most likely share it with others, because it is tailored to them.  You can do email surveys, Facebook surveys or online surveys to engage your subscribers.

You can also look at your website analytics to see what blog posts have been visited the most and which ones have the most likes or social shares.  Use this as a guide to creating new content for your blog.

So the blog is written, now what?  A case study for our own company can give you an idea.  We started our blog in May of 2010.  We write our blog, then using a post scheduling software like HootSuite or Sendible, share it on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (company page and my personal page) along with 26 LinkedIn groups that contain our target market for our area (Linked Louisville, Linking Louisville, etc.).  These 26 groups contain over 290,000 members. Withing 6 weeks of starting our blog, our website traffic increased over 1400%!  You can't get that kind of visibility anywhere else.  This is not to mention the times our articles were shared and liked by others.

If you do your blog correctly, it can be a great way to increase your visibility for both potential customers and the Search Engines. 

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