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Reverse SEO

Time to rewind and start again

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Reverse SEOReverse SEO

The purpose of this article is to tell you why you why reverse SEO (REVERSEO) is coming to a screen near you! (Published 15/06/2012).

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Pre Apology

First of all, I like to call a spade a “spade” and say things how they are. So with that in mind, if I offend you or your business practices then I’m sorry. And, if I have offended you, then it’s probably time to wake up and smell the coffee and step out of that ever contracting bubble.

Ahhh SEO

Well, where do I start? The word “SEO”? To me it’s a bit of a dirty word at the moment as it’s meant to be a way of improving your rankings in search engines and Google, but, as most of us know, but don’t really like to admit it, it’s a way of scamming Google’s search engine to get your pages ranking higher and to bring in that gold rush of traffic.

But, and it’s a big but (and I’m talking Sir Mix-A-Lot size), one day all your manipulative efforts do and will come back to haunt you in the form of big hairy Pandas and slippery Penguins that like to site on your site for a bit until it cracks open! And, unfortunately, there is no cute fledgling there to greet you with a free £50 AdWords voucher.

Panguin Updates (Soon to be Panguinbrah)

First came the cute Panda, Google adopted it and made it one of the most hated animals in the SEO industry. This fury creature decided that if your website’s content was extremely poor, scraping off other sites or just a thin affiliate site with their feeds on to make a buck or two then you were going to be downgraded somewhat in the SERPs and your keywords and traffic would never see the light of day again, until you sort the issues out.

That all started back in 2011 and now; in 2012, we have the Penguin to contend with. The biggest issue we have with the slippery Penguin is its ability to show all those backlinks from nefarious sites with high density of anchor text to pages to artificially boost your rankings. Guess what, those days are coming to an end too!


You’ve spent years finding “linking opportunities” or “outsourcing” your link building time but now it’s time to make a list of all those links, work out which sites that Google no longer likes that link to you, and try and clean up your act.

This can be easier said than done as a lot of submission directories, which are a massive issue, don’t really have ways of contacting the owner. You could try doing a whois on the domain name and look out for an administrative contact and contact them that way or if you can, and your pages have plummeted in rankings, move the content of your webpage to a new page and let the old one 404, and kill all of those links that were going to it. You'll probably find that that page will start to rank higher!

Outsourcing Link Building

Many SEOers outsource their link building time to companies that specialise in link building. In light of recent events, a lot of services offered by these companies will not cut the mustard anymore and people will be too scared to use them. Link building companies will need to roll with the times and diversify or face a slow death. Please be aware tough that any new ways of “Manipulating” the SERPS with come back to haunt you in future updates.

Manipulating the SERPs is all very well but can your business make enough money in the  “Manipulative Months” to make up for sitting at the bottom of a pile for a few months, and possibly longer why your competitors get all your new and repeat custom? Have a think about it.

The Future of SEO

With every Panda/Penguin/Zebra/Snow Leopard update, all your websites’ imperfections will come out in the wash. Keep on going like you are and you’ll have no website or business left in 12 months.

As mentioned above, you need to start your clean up act now and think about QUALITY from this point on.

  • Start building quality relevant links, if it’s just one per week then so be it.
  • Write guest posts on people's “relevant” blogs that add value
  • Create useful infographics that are useful/amusing and people will read and link to them
  • Create link bait/useful tools that serve a purpose
  • Build a social community and be active, social signals will play a big part in the future when it comes to linking and authority being past down those links
  • Make your website stand out from the rest, make it a brand and give it an identity

Generally, make “stuff” people want and will link to. Work smart and let your customers do all the hard work of linking for you for FREE!

The Future of SEOers

It sounds a bit negative but as Google crack down on manipulative SEO practices and with every update, an SEOs job gets harder and harder. Will the roll of a sole SEOer be there in a few years’ time?

My opinion is that unless you are doing PPC full time or running a social meida campaign then start expanding your skill set. Learn how to code HTML/CSS and possibly PHP/JQuery etc. Turn your hand to marketing, online and offline and data analysis. And, if you’re creative, get Photoshop and Illustrator out and get practicing creating web banners. Make yourself useful and indispensible!

Animal Theory

So, Google gave us the black and white Panda. Next came the black and white Penguin. What will be next?

An SEO friend of mine (Carly Wood) thinks it will be a Zebra or Snow Leopard. She is right; although I think it will be the Zebra Update:-)

Anyway back to the plot. All these animals are black and white. Are Google trying to say that things really are that simple?

If you’re Black Hat – Goodbye.

If you’re White Hat, enjoy what’s coming your way!

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