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Google Over Optimization and Keys to Success

By David | April 27, 2012 | Home | Blog Categories | Articles

Google Over OptimizationI want to say a few things about this “Google Over Optimization Penalty” because there is confusion being spread around about this. Then I want to give you some keys to success that will virtually guarantee you have a high traffic and profitable directory.

First, if you submit a your site to several well maintained directories, that is a good thing! For example, if you have a new site and you just want to get some initial rankings for some relatively easy keywords, I  can't think of a better way to do that assuming you don’t have friends in high places.

Where you would be "over optimized" would be if you paid someone to submit your site to 10,000 directories, and many of those directories are junk that specialize in a bulk method of adding dozens of links every day. If you happened to accidentally submit your site to a couple of less than wonderful directories, that is not going to get you penalized, no way. But blindly paying someone to submit to thousands of sites is a pretty bad idea.

I know of a couple of directory owners that make x,xxx+ each month who do a great job maintaining their directories. They have a good pagerank, and they work hard to make the directories interesting, not just link farms. Just recently, we did some submissions to several of their directories and it definitely helped rank some new sites.

What this means to directory industry...

It is pretty likely that we will see some of the spammy directories get buried, and some of the submission businesses that are part of this could lose out. However, the ultimate result is the well maintained directories will not only survive, but PROSPER MORE!

What directory owners should be doing now to insure their success...

1. Get the junk out of your directory! There are tools like Link Cleaner that help you find parked domains, malware containing domains, and spam word containing domains. It's not necessarily your fault. Sometimes people submit nice looking sites that later get parked of compromised or they had some devious plan. It’s time to find those links and get them out of your directory.

2. Increase the length of your descriptions and reduce the number of links per page. The ratio of content to links is important. If you have a category with just 5 links and great descriptions that are interesting and helpful, that can be a wonderful web page for the user, and google will be able to see that. But if you have a category with 1000 links with short descriptions that are all user submitted, think about doing something to change that.

3. You are the editor in chief! If your directory has reached a point where there are many links that are just not high enough quality, get rid of them! Ideally, you charge your users for the review process, and those users who submitted quality sites have the most to gain by you doing your job. Even if you have to remove some older paid links, don’t sacrifice quality to protect bad websites.
4. Search for Junk - The search in your admin panel can be very helpful. For example, if you prefer not to have gambling related links in your directory, search for gambling related terms. If you want to take that a step further, the Link Cleaner will actually spider the websites you are linking to and look for spam words of your choosing.

5. Feature Great Sites! The featured link in your directory should not be used just to sell the top spot to the highest bidder. When a user lands on your category page and sees longer, more interesting description about a highly helpful or interesting site, you may find that visitor wants to look around and see what else your site has going on, and your traffic will grow, and google will see a more natural traffic pattern as you send visitors to quality sites, and you have less unnatural link patterns.

6.Create other content: Add more features to your site like images, videos, and articles. phpLD 4.2 makes all of that possible. You can create video only categories, or image gallery only categories. Then about making some exciting webpages. There all all sorts of funny or interesting images being circulated on facebook every day and the click through rate is amazing. You can easily create a user submitted and admin submitted image category (or the same for videos).

7. Did we say quality? Make sure you have your own quality guidelines that you follow. You have no obligation to accept sites that don’t fit your quality standards. If you publish these standards on your website, that may deter some spammers.

8. Automate spam removal - with the new addition of the task manager in phpLD 4.2, you can setup tasks to AUTOMATICALLY remove unwanted submissions. That could include people who submitted a paid link, but failed to pay. It could include people who submitted a link that didn’t use English characters, contained words you don’t like, or a URL that was too long. This is a new feature, but feel free to come talk to us about tasks you would like to add, and we’ll see what we can do to help you get what you need to run a quality directory.

9. Improve your bounce rate - It can be amazing what a well placed image, video or bold text can do to totally change the behavior of visitors to your site. Start researching something catchy. It can silly, emotional, challenging or inspirational. Start with your homepage, and make a challenge to yourself that you will increase the number of people that click deeper into your site. Over time you will find this a game that can be very profitable and increase your traffic. Start playing this game now!

10. Get your mailing list in order - when people are submitting to your site, make sure you have proper language allowing you to send an occasional email. Then start writing! Don’t just send them a spammy advertisement. Think about how you can attract people to not just give you money, but visit your website. You have a website that specializes in providing people with interesting links. Why not tell people more about the highlights of your site. Come up with something interesting you can repeat like “News of the Weird”, “10 Funniest Websites of All Time”, “10 Amazing Soccer Goals”, etc. The possibilities are endless if you will just come up with some good ideas and be consistent about communicating.

11. Integrate Socially - Post your “10 Funnyist Websites of All Time” on Facebook, Twitter, or even make a Youtube Video about it. Invite people to join your social links, and grow your user’s that way too, while you keep increasing the number of people coming to your site. For example, tell people you are looking to make a new top 10 list and you want to know 10 new gadgets for 2012. Don’t forget, you can also integrate the Facebook comments right into your phpLD pages too.

12. Focus your time effectively - Why would you want to spend a bunch of time going through links, when you can automate much of that process? Instead work on making some awesome category pages that you can show off because they are awesome! You can make a category page in a few minutes. Then you can prepare an email, and go social with the page too. Before you know it, people will be bookmarking your pages and coming back to your site again and again.

Cheers to you success!
David DuVal

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Publish date: April 27, 2012
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