Last year, the company I work for, Trendhim, was ‘Google bombed’. For those who haven’t heard of that term before, it is a technique that damages a website by making sure that it is downgraded in relevant Google search results and ends up appearing somewhere completely different through manipulating anchor texts. In our case, we ended up in pornographic search results which of course was completely unrelated to our business which is selling men’s accessories. It took us a short time to recover from this and we are still nervous of it happening again as it can severely damage a business’ reputation and sales. Google has taken steps to stop Google bombing from happening but unfortunately it is still possible.
I would like to share some tips on how to protect yourself from being Google bombed. As a quick recovery from a Google bomb is dependent on your rankings and how trustworthy Google thinks you are, the tips will also be about improving your SEO strategy in general.
Make sure that you have a general overriding theme to your site and that it is reflected in all that you do. For example, mention your keywords in your descriptions, categories, page titles and page content. This also works for the images on your site too so make sure you rename the titles of your images to include your keywords. Also, never change your domain name as Google take into account a domain’s age when deciding on its rank so you want it to have as much history as possible. This requires patience, but you will see rewards.
It is really good to reinforce the architecture of your site by linking to other pages within your site. If you imagine your site to be a spider web, then you will understand the strength in having everything woven and connected together. This linking will also help increase your customer’s ‘time on site’ which is one of the criteria Google uses to position you.
Optimise your site
This is an absolute necessity if you are wanting to increase your ranking and prove to Google that you are a worthy site (important if you get Google bombed). The time your site takes to load is another criterion used by Google and it is really easy to reduce it. If you have a lot of images on your site, be sure to compress them and if you have any unnecessary plugins or GIFs then consider removing them. Google has a really handy tool that gives you some insight into this called PageSpeed insights, be sure to have a look at it and see what you can do better.
Try and get external links
The more external sites you have linking to your site, the more Google will see you as a trustworthy and interesting source. Extremely helpful if you are Google bombed! This is hard and takes patience but it is worth it. If you work in E-commerce ask bloggers to work together with you on sponsored posts, or if you are a blogger you can share your knowledge and passions on other blogs or websites.
Update your site
Aside from optimising the content on your site, you need to keep refreshing it too. By regularly updating your content, Google will see that your site is both active and relevant and will give you better rankings. One thing to always keep in mind when creating content for your site is to write as a human, this simply just makes your site better and people are more likely to want to read, engage and share. This equals better rankings and less chance of suffering from a Google bomb!
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