It seems to me like SEO went back in time or something. After Penguin update and all the unnatural link notices that Google sent out everyone is turning into a pirate. It’s actually not your fault that you need to engage in these shady techniques and protect yourself from possible takeover.
It’s Google’s fault! Google is responsible for all this chaos and small businesses going under…no doubt about that. They constantly cater to big brands and squeeze little guys like you and me out of the serps.
It’s no longer about quality of the search results…it’s about pleasing their shareholders.
It’s been over 4 months since I received my penalty from Google and it doesn’t seem like they are going to lift it. I have actually removed a ton of links. In February my GWT was showing over 15k links (I think it was 17k but don’t remember the exact number), and after removing a lot of them now it’s showing little over 9k.
Not to mention the fact that majority of them were not even built by me, so it’s totally outside of my control.
Here is a screenshot from my GWT account showing the search impressions drop after the penalty hit:
It’s a pretty big hit and I don’t see how any business that depends on online sales could survive something like that for such long period of time.
So if you think about it, I have removed almost 50% (some spam naturally dropped of course) of my backlinks and it’s still not good enough for them to lift the penalty. Not only I have spent a lot of money on removing them but it was also very time consuming, not to mention that anybody can simply spam me with a click of button or using Fiverr geeks all over again…oh and then demand money for removing the links :O
Fortunately, this site is not my main money maker. I have started a few good projects in the meantime that are now delivering promising results. I am moving towards building web properties optimized for paid traffic sources. It’s much more stable and easily scalable. I don’t have to worry about what Google does or thinks about my promotional methods. After playing around and experimenting with different traffic sources I have discovered a “loophole” that allows me to deliver premium US traffic to any content site for peanuts.
I won’t be discussing it here and I would rather not even share it for now because it’s extremely powerful and effective. If I do share it sometime in the future it will be after I have established my new brand I am working on, so nobody can simply try to copy what I am doing.
Stay away from my ship or I will give the order to fire!
With that said, let’s talk about how SEO now is no different than being a captain of a pirate ship (the fun part)
Imagine that you have found a map. The map leads to treasure that can make you very wealthy, give you power, and let you live comfortably for the rest of your life.
The only problem is that it’s far away on an island in the middle of the sea full of monsters and unknown obstacles. To get there you need a ship and a dependable crew that you can count on in desperate situations.
You decide to take the challenge and sail for the treasure. Weeks go by but you finally manage to assemble your crew . You have also found a way to get an old ship. She might not be fast and powerful but she is a beauty with history of surviving the worst and most powerful storms.
The date of departure is set. You choose to leave on a beautiful sunny day because you care about your crew. It’s important that they are excited and motivated. They need to trust you or it’s all for nothing.
Captain cannot sail by himself, and the crew would be lost if the captain was not there. Everyone is important and systems need to be put in place so everything is running smooth. A good captain doesn’t have to constantly watch over his people. He can sleep, drink booze, and enjoy himself, but if a situation arises he needs to stand up and make the right decisions fast or the ship will go down into the deep with everyone aboard.
You sail for weeks but can’t catch a good wind yet. Your crew is getting impatient and the hot sun is not helping either. Good thing your inventory is well stocked so that you can relieve some of the tensions that developed over the past few days.
Then all of a sudden the next day high winds have taken you and your crew by surprise. 9 in Beaufort scale – you scream!
Everyone is working hard to keep the ship moving. You set the course for the island and things start to finally moving in the right direction.
Few days go by and you have been able to keep the speed. Your crew is excited and working hard.
Then out of nowhere another ship appears on the horizon. You don’t know what their intentions are, but they are sailing towards your boat fast. A few minutes later you realize that you were not the only one who had the treasure map.
You need to make a quick decision otherwise you and your crew could die in the battle that is about to go down. Their intentions are now clear so you need to decide if you are going to try to outrun them or if you are going to take a stand and fight.
Captain of a ship cannot show a single sign of weakness or he will lose trust of his crew. Running away would mean certain failure because your people would most likely rebel against you and throw you overboard days later.
But you have already made a decision. They don’t know what’s about to happen but you are getting the ship ready for battle. Winds are on your side for the moment so you position your ship to fire a salvo towards the enemy.
Then you give the order that deep inside everyone was hoping for – Take positions!
You make a slick approach and yell – Fire!
Want a visual? Here it is:
Smoke is everywhere and the fire powder smells like freedom with a taste of revenge. Your men fight hard to the end and it’s clear that you are about to win. Your enemy is going down and their ship keeps sinking with each second passing by.
Finally the victory is yours!
Your crew is happier than ever before and excited to continue the journey. The winds are still friendly so you set the course back on the treasure island. Now you are only 1 week away from reaching your destination.
Things are going great and you start planning the future. A few days go by but the winds are starting to weaken. It feels like something much bigger is approaching.
It got very quiet like it does before a storm that everyone on board fears. This kind of storm is nothing compared to what your crew experienced a few days back, it’s much much bigger and stronger.
Something is very wrong though. It doesn’t look like a storm but something totally different. You’ve heard stories about monsters but you thought they were just legends. You know, people talk and make stuff up all the time.
You think to yourself, “This really can’t be true!”. The peaceful waters are sending chills down your spine and your crew knows that something is not right. They start talking among themselves behind your back and are expecting the worst.
Then out of nowhere the ship stops completely like it has hit something. At first, you think that you miscalculated and ended up in shallow waters but that can’t be true. You have never made this mistake before.
Your crew is trying to figure things out but the water doesn’t look shallow at all. Then something totally unexpected happens.
Your worst nightmare is coming true…the monster you’ve heard stories about finally reveals itself and attacks the ship.
Everyone panics. They try to fight it to save their lives but you already know it’s a lost battle. There is no way out of this one.
The monster has no mercy. It doesn’t care about your crew or that there could possibly be women or children on board. It wants to kill all of you!
As an honorable captain you try to fight as well but then the monster unleashes its most powerful weapon and your ship gets crushed. Everyone dies and your journey is over.
Want another visual?
Ok, so that’s the end of our story here. Don’t you think SEO is just like the story I told? Let me explain.
The ship is your website that you work hard to develop. Your employees are the crew. You try to publish awesome content and get to the top of the front page of Google for your keywords (the treasure). It takes a long time to get there too.
While on your way there you encounter many obstacles. The journey is long. It turns into months and then years in some cases.
Then when you finally feel like you are just about there a competitor shows up on your horizon that wants the top spot as well. They play dirty and try to get you penalized by Google.
Are you just going to stand there and do nothing? Are you going to take it?
The battle in our story symbolizes Negative SEO. The 2 ships fire at each other to prevent one another from reaching the treasure island. Only 1 can survive.
After you win the battle you think the success is yours and that now everything is going to be great. The rewards are just around the corner, but then you get crushed by a monster.
I am going to let you figure out who the monster is 😉
If you paid attention to the ending of the second video you have probably found the hidden message of the entire story. There was another ship that emerged from the sea (serps).
The ship is bigger and much more powerful (a brand). It also has the ability to summon the monster, but the monster will not touch them though. They are the sea!
Let me know what you think below.