Have you experienced big ranking changes? So have we. Apparently, one of the biggest updates to Google Penguin in over one year happened just a few weeks ago. (The last major update to Penguin was just over a full year ago, on October 3, 2013.)Dubbed Penguin 3.0, this new one was a worldwide update, not just a local hit. It was a refresh or update of the original Penguin. This means that the sites affected negatively wrongly by the last Penguin were freed of their penalties, if they had taken the recommended Google steps for recovery. (Not sure about this? See my section detailing Google recovery towards the end.)
Express Writers Dominates The SERPS
We were stopped dead in our tracks when we had 400 unique visitors in one day during a recent weekend, on Saturday. Then, four contact requests occurred Sunday evening. That never happens on a weekend! We took a deeper look and saw that our overall ranking had increased majorly. We already had several dozen keywords dominating search: but today, we have rankings like we have never had before.
- We’re ranking in the top 3 results of Google for 37 keywords
- We have 88 keywords in the first page of Google
- We have 136 keywords in the first 2 pages
Here are the stats in screenshots, from our SEO tool of choice, SEMRush.
What happened during the weekend of October 18:
We are outranking some of our major competitors with keywords in the first results of Google.
We increased in rankings on a few keywords: and we held strong on keywords where some of our competitors lost more than 50 positions. This is awesome news for our company! We are staffing and hiring more team members this week due to the workload increase.
What Were The Biggest Recent Google Updates?
I know, there’s been a ton, and it’s hard to keep up. Here’s a brief recap of the recent Google change history, so you can see just how many major changes Google has gone through in the past few months:
- Google Pirate update rolled out October 21. This affected torrent sites aka “pirating.”
- Google Penguin 3.0 rolled out during October 17.
- Panda 4.1 rolled out September 23.
- Google Authorship was removed August 28.
- The SSL update occurred August 6.
Our Content Blueprint: A Blog Every Other Day Keeps The Doctor Away
Here’s our content schedule. I’m going to tell you EXACTLY what we do. This is a blueprint for anyone’s success, tailored to your level of services and amount of “news”, hot topics, and relevant pieces you can publish in a week or month. Remember, quality is most important. Never, ever force content. If you simply can’t get out a 3000 word blog three times a week without repeating yourself every week, drop down to once a week or twice at 1,000 words/blog. Change it up and find what works for you. The best days to publish are weekdays in the morning.
- We publish 1,000-3,000 word blogs on our site three days a week with links to other quality sites, and visuals (screenshots/images). We post each blog to all our social media networks.
- I publish one original blog a week (not too much more than 800 words) on my LinkedIn profile.
- We post on social media multiple times every day, tweeting our industry peers, sharing industry content, and our own blogs multiple times. We also publish custom-made visuals with hashtags (like these).
- We guest blog (maximum once-a-week) on five major platforms: SiteProNews, SocialMediaToday, SEMRush, SEO.com, and recently, one of the hottest platforms in our niche, SearchEngineJournal.
- We publish press releases with PRWeb every few months.
- We publish (on our blog) infographics about three times a year.
Our content blueprint is exclusive to Express Writers. I haven’t copied this strategy. As a copywriting company, centering on web-based content, we can say one thing: we know how to write content. And if content is the #1 thing that Google wants these days, well—we’re just going to keep being winners! And we want you to be too.
What Can We Do For You From This List? We can write all your blog content, publish it with a monthly schedule, and coming up we’ll have revamped social media plans that INCLUDE custom visuals! We can also write and publish press releases on PRWeb and write/create infographics for you. Disclaimer: If you want guest blogs, we don’t find or do any network management. You have to get on your guest blog platform of choice; we only write your content. But, it will be stellar enough to uphold your reputation on an awesome guest blog site. Now, moving back to the Google update changes…
Were You Hit? If You Haven’t Already, Here Are The Google Steps For Recovering
If you’re experiencing a hit in rankings, then you probably haven’t done the necessary steps to recover from the Google Penguin penalties. Here’s a brief how-to.
- Penguin focuses on penalizing anyone abusing links. Read the Google webmaster guidelines and find out if you’re violating any of them.
- On the Google Penalty Recover site, scroll down to Troubleshooting and follow the directions for manual action recovery.
- Have you done the penalty recovery steps? Contact Google directly for help here, at the top of the Penalty Recover page. Let them know you’ve done the steps and they’ll notice.
Have A Deeper Problem? Look At Panda And Fix Your Content (Now)
If you have a steady decline that goes past a sudden de-ranking from Penguin, time to take a look at Panda. Google is actually calling Panda a Quality Algorithm instead of a penalty. Panda was a site-wide penalty that affects all rankings for organic keywords, which will hit you if your site is featuring low quality content. Your entire site gets a lower quality score because of the problematic content, making it nearly impossible to rank at all till you fix the problem.
I hope this blog and real-life case study helps you. If you have any questions for me or if you think I’ve left out any information, let me know in the comments!
Photo credits SEMRush.com (Screenshots taken 11-5-14)