I am interrupting the planned sequence of my series on Niche Blogging to discuss the latest Google Update that is causing some consternation among some online marketers who own niche blogs.
None of the blogs I follow have published anything about this yet – which gives me some encouragement because, with two new niches under development, I had already decided NOT to go into panic mode, stay calm, continue the development and wait and see how things go.
For those of you who may be wondering what I am talking about, here’s a blog post that has caused discussion in my networking groups on Facebook: Google Takes Aim at Exact Match Domains (EMDs).
An EMD is one that you will have keyword researched and set up with the sole intention of trying to dominate the market with that keyword.
Writing Online is actually an exact match domain as this keyword was researched before we bought the domain and set up the site. However, we are not panicking on here, neither are we panicking about our own individual micro-niche sites being penalized by Google.
Why are we not panicking?
For the simple reason that this site is full of original content and the ratio of content versus adverts and product links is extremely high.
It is the same with our individual blogs. Although we have blogs that have been set up for the sole purpose of making sales, those blogs have a good proportion of original content in relation to the number of products appearing on each post.
As far as I can tell, this latest change to the Google Algorithm is simply part of the evolution that has been going on since I first started writing online. In 2008, the “gurus” tended to advise that if you were setting up a micro-niche blog, all it needed was 10 posts, featuring strong keywords plus a good number of backlinks and that would be enough to get traffic and make sales.
A couple of years ago that number was revised to 30.
Then we saw the value of having huge numbers of backlinks reduced – Google had woken up to the fact that people were “gaming” by paying for hundreds of backlinks that were not necessarily actually relevant to the content being published.
Now on some sites we are seeing content indexed fast and sales made from content that has no backlinks and has only been published for a few days.
Google insists that only low quality sites will be hit by this. However, as we know from past experience, with any change that Google introduces, which involves sites being penalized, there’s going to be some innocent Bystanders caught up in the cross-fire.
We believe that by “low quality” sites, Google is looking at sites that are full of sales items but very little content. Pages full of Amazon Sales Widgets, which of course do not have a full product description. You have to write those yourself.
It seems to us that providing you have a good amount of original content to accompany those products, then you may well be OK. Currently, we are ensuring that for each post on our Micro-Niche Blogs we have at least 500 words of original content. This is made up of a proper introduction to the post (remember one sentence does NOT constitue a paragraph!!) plus original descriptions of each product.
You have to hope you won’t be one of the innocent bystanders, but if you do see a drop in traffic then I suggest you try to contain your anxiety and wait and see what happens – if you really are innocent, then you may recover if you give it time. Google is constantly tweaking its algorithm, so hang on in there.