If you’re an Internet marketer, then chances are you’re already well-acquainted with blog networks and the newest Google change. If not, then you’re not missing anything, because they no longer exist. At least in the form we knew them as about 72 hours ago. The networks were a means for manipulating the way Google’s search ranks websites, and for quite a while, they did their job extremely well. That is, until the big G pulled the plug completely. So which network was affected? And how in the heck do IMers rank their sites now?
Build my Rank – Newest Sacrificial Lamb of the Google Change
Google is smarter than most marketers think. Every few months, dirty new tricks are introduced to manipulate the search rankings, and when Google doesn’t punish sites benefiting from the tactics immediately, the tricks become common practice. Enter blog networks.
These services are essentially a big cluster of blogs that exist for the sole purpose of helping client websites fare better in the search results. The worst are a step removed from “link farms” – sites that are virtually content-free and exist only to host links to other sites. Some blog networks charge clients a recurring fee for spamming keyword-laden articles to their ring of blogs in hopes of giving clients’ search rankings a backlink boost.
And they worked. A little too well.
Google has known about the problem for some time, but after a few powerful companies started hiring SEO firms that used blog networks, they knew it was time to take action. The biggest blog network, Build My Rank, was one of the first on the slab. In a matter of hours, Google had wiped its index clean of virtually all Build My Rank blogs, and clients who were relying on this network saw the rankings of their sites and blogs drop dramatically as a result. The Google change and manual extermination of BMR led the site to close its doors for good, and it marked the end of an era with this announcement on their site.
Other blog networks like Article Samurai, Authority Link Network, and LinkVana are likely next on the list, if Google hasn’t started de-indexing their blogs already.
How to SEO without Cheating
Scary thought, right? Now marketers are going to have to pull out the stops to get their Internet marketing blog noticed by the almighty Googlebot. The truth is, pulling out the stops is nothing new. There’s no magic button, no great new trick, just the reality of the situation – and the reality is: Google is getting more sophisticated.
So, what to do next? Simple:
1. Write good content
2. Guest post like crazy
3. Write more good content
4. Comment on blogs in your niche
5. Write even more good content
6. Get to know others in your niche
7. Write good content (sensing a trend here?)
It’s only a matter of time before the next Google change comes and wipes out another spammy, underhanded method used to rank.