It's that wonderful time of the year once again when Google's latest update administers the harsh smackdowns to any and all sites found to be disobeying their rules.
In this instance, Google Hummingbird is said to affect somewhere in the region of 90% of all search queries, which needless to say, in raw numbers is a lot! With all this traffic now being directed in any number of new directions in accordance with the new algorithm, some are noticing improvements while others have fallen flat on their faces.
So whether you outsource SEO to a third-party provider or take care of things yourself, the following is a quick guide on how to head back in the right direction after having your rear end handed to you by Google. And while the guide may be quick, be warned there’s nothing quick-fix about the road to recovery.
First up, not only will trying to argue with Google achieve nothing positive, but you might just see your name take on another black mark for your trouble. Never forget that they don't owe you a thing and that includes an explanation or an apology, so no matter what Hummingbird seems to have done for you, they aren't going to make any changes to a colossally important update just for your sake. Argue it out and you might end up even worse off.
Take a Second Look
Take a good look across your site and your SEO efforts – or if you outsource SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) like we do here at ALJT Media, ask that your provider does so on your behalf.
This is the point where you need to be honest with yourself in terms of whether your site is built around bots or real visitors - do you use ethical SEO methods, or does your site use black hat techniques?
If it's clear in any way, shape or form that SEO has compromised the quality or purpose of the site as a whole, therein could lie the problem.
Remove Offending Items
Anywhere on your website where you get the feeling that too much or simply the wrong thing has been done, you need to invest as much time and effort as necessary to reverse the effects and remove any traces of it.
This could mean getting rid of backlinks from directories that look bad on you, removing a ton of keywords if you've stuffed too many in and taking out all duplicate or low quality content. It's painful and it takes time, but ignore it and you'll never climb back.
Replace Slowly But Surely
Once it's all nice and clean again, you have yourself a blank canvas for SEO but one you need to approach with serious care and attention. Try and throw the whole lot back out at once and you'll end up in the same situation – you need to rebuild your SEO strategy slowly but surely in order to keep it as natural and organic as possible.
Reach Out.. Maybe
Last up, when your site has once again become a stunning pillar of all things glorious for your chosen niche and bots have been put to one side in favour of real readers, it’s always worth considering reaching out to Google for consideration or advice. If doing so though, be warned that a manual inspection of your site could lead to even more nastiness if there’s anything there that rubs its assigned reader up the wrong way!