Doing The Google Shuffle

Google changed its ranking algorithm again this past week and, as usual, it’s good for some and bad for others.  I was pleased to see that one of my clients who has been online for 7+ years and has a very niche market is back in the top 3.   For 6 years (once I got them set up and gave Google time to rank them), they were always in the top 3 for their keyword of choice.  Then a year ago, Google implemented major changes and, almost overnight, this company that is the largest online seller of their type of products, dropped to the 2nd page.

I use only “white hat” SEO methods, but the client who manages her own product database had gone a tad (a lot?) overboard on that keyword phrase in the succeeding years, as she added more products.  It took months of cleaning up product descriptions, etc. to delete the “offending”, but accurate, keyword to get her back on page 1 of results.

I noticed in April that she was moving up more and then, after the change a few days ago, she is again in the top 3.

The lesson to be learned: we’re at Google’s mercy!   Her products and targeted audience haven’t changed and her site has more of her type of products than any other online site.  While she could, and probably was, “guilty” of keyword stuffing, even that is a matter of opinion.   Pretty much everything she sells fits that keyword, so why wouldn’t she use it when describing the particulars of a product?

I don’t mean to be cagey by not providing her website, but it’s irrelevant to this subject.  Plus, I fear Google’s wrath!

Along those lines, I own a site that is very, very old that has always been in the top 3 or 4 for the very same keyword.  No more.  The content of the site hasn’t changed drastically over the years, but instead of being in the top 5, at least, I’m lucky to find my site on page 4.

The takeaway from that situation?   The only thing that changed, relative to the website and/or Google, is that Google started charging to show items in their Shopping section.   Since my site doesn’t actually sell products, but merely promotes them, I think it’s been penalized because I’m not contributing to Google’s revenues.

Now, let’s hope Big Brother doesn’t find out which sites I’m talking about!


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Don’t Get Spoofed

Tips for avoiding spoofing:
When you send something to a group, send the email to yourself with everyone else’s email in the bcc: field. Politely remind your friends to do the same. Forwarded (and forwarded) emails are one way spammers collect email addresses to spoof. That’s why some of those “Reply to this for good luck” emails exist!
Never post your real email address on any public site. Spammers troll websites with programs, simply collecting email addresses to spoof.
Get a Google or Hotmail or Yahoo! email address to use for anything that could become remotely public.

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Wireless Security

Here’s a great YouTube video from SecurityMetrics about staying more secure when using wireless.

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Lead by Example

In other words, don’t wait almost 2 months between posts.   Sorry to those of you who read this, but October to December are busy months for anyone remotely involved in e-commerce.    More tips will need to wait until after Christmas probably unless I run across something incredibly valuable.

But I will take this opportunity to plug one of my client’s who’s book is the basis for this year’s Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, Christmas With Holly.   Watch it on December 9 at  9E/8C on ABC, with encore presentations on the Hallmark channel.

Congratulations to Lisa!

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Tweet Information Not Ads

Google is valuing content over pure commerce, and one way to make them – and your customers – view you and your business as more than a pitchman trying to sell, sell, sell is to use Twitter to share information that will interest your customer base.

Here’s how to think about it:  Do you fast forward through the tv shows so that you can watch the commercials?  No?  Then don’t expect your customers to follow your tweets intently if you deliver nothing but commercials.

If you sell custom made furniture, tweet about new design trends, using recovered woods or wood from sustainable forests, or innovative uses for old furniture.   That would be a Twitter account worth following.


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