How to Survive a Google Penalty

October 17, 2008

Google is currently the most commonly used search engine. Although Yahoo! has existed twice as long as Google, the California-based company drives the biggest portion of traffic to websites today. Most SEO-oriented campaigns are understandably geared to aligning with Google’s standards.

With the astronomical increase of sites, however, Google has set parameters to regulate the sites to which they direct traffic.

It exercises its policing function and punishes sites for violations such as keyword stuffing and spamming.

When Google flags your site for whatever reason, merited or otherwise, your top 5 ranking can dissolve into thin air; you would suddenly be nobody, at least in Google search engine results. What do you do now?

Google is not everything
The first thing to remember is that Google is not the end all and be all of online campaigns. There are online search engines that will still drive a reasonable amount of traffic to your site.

It bears noting that Yahoo! used to be the top search engine. Several years hence, we stand on a new ground. This shows the general unpredictability of the online market.

It is thus unwise to have just one search engine in mind when planning your Internet marketing campaign.

There are still loyal Yahoo! users. MSN is one of the biggest Internet companies.

Focus your Internet campaign on these other search engines.

Do the marketing yourself
In addition, do not forget that the vital part of any business marketed online is still the product or service, not the search engine.

A search engine is but a tool, an instrument to get people to your site.

Needless to say, this means you should use other marketing schemes to get people to your site directly without having to go through search engines.

Be Active on other Internet Mediums
Actively post messages in online forums that are related to your product or service. Reply to queries and make it appear that you are an expert on topics. These venues allow you to interact directly with prospective customers. At times, a link to your site through an appealing tagline in your signature could suffice.

Another way to steer traffic to your site is via article directories. These are huge depositories of content on a wide array of topics.

Article directories also have search functions that allow prospective clients to single out their target sites.

Offline Marketing Also Works
Finally, you may want to incorporate online and offline methods in selling your site.

Nothing beats the good old word of mouth in expanding your customer base and building goodwill among them. Satisfied clients will most likely refer you to family, friends, business partners, and acquaintances.

In the end, you may want to examine why you were given a Google penalty. Perhaps it’s safe to say that Google will not ban you without good reason.

However, when it happens, it’s best to have a Google penalty plan in place, rather than just watch your online investment collapse in the blink of an eye.