Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Just read a good article at SEOmoz I wanted to share. It's about how NOT to lose clients over Google algo shakeups, but I wanted to share it for another reason as well.

Maybe you are different, but I live so much in the local world still, that even though I focus a lot on organic OPTIMIZATION I don't always focus enough on evaluating a site to look for potential organic PENALTIES.

What I mean by that is - I look for ways to optimize the G+ L page and the on-site SEO, but in the past I have not been eagle eye enough about analyzing sites for Panda/Penguin/over optimization and other types of pure organic penalties.

Since "local" now is so closely tied to "organic", we really need to be a lot more holistic in our approach, because while we could do the best LOCAL SEO on the planet to enhance the site, if there are organic problems we miss - the drop or ban can cripple all our efforts.

So anyway this article has numerous good tips including a simplified list to help Panda proof sites.

An Agency Guide to Google Algo-Protection & Avoiding Client Fallout - YouMoz | SEOmoz

Google’s Panda checklist is a little wordy, so here’s a quick one to help you clear up those major penalty triggers:

Duplicate content – easily picked up with SEOmoz’ campaign manager.

Cookie cutter content – you know if you’ve done this, illegitimate location/type specific pages with near identical content need removing or legitimising.

Orphaned pages – are there redundant pages that are not being linked to? If they need to be there then link them up, if they don’t then remove them.

Keyword density – it’s amazing but people still treat KWD as a thing. It’s not - rewrite content that was written around keywords and write it around the topic.

Internal linking – exact match anchor internal links are a form of over-optimisation (AKA Panda food). Mix up internal anchors where it’s not being done legitimately.

Headers – multiple H1s with keywords in will flag you up, structure headers logically*

Poor grammar/spelling – clear it up and you know it won’t be holding you back.

Anyway, there are a ton of other good points in that article so go read the rest at link above.

I recently had a client drop. This is the Dentist I often talk about that has (or HAD) DOUBLE #1s.
I got him #1 in organic AND 'A' in blended with 2 different pages - same site.

He recently dropped to D/E in blended. So I looked at everything that I had done (Note: I only optimize 5 pages of the sites I work on and the G+ L page. In the past that's all I've needed to do and with my special Local SEO Formula sites just POP to the TOP!)

I tweaked and tweaked everything I could think of that I thought would make a difference.

THEN I belatedly yanked off my *local* blinders and started poking around the rest of the site with my Google organic glasses on. YIKES!!! He had pages with title tags like:

"City 1 Porcelain Veneers, City 2 Porcelain Veneers, City 3 Porcelain Veneers, City 4 Porcelain Veneers, City 5 Porcelain Veneers, City 6 Porcelain Veneers"

YES keywords repeated 6 times in title tags. And all kinds of other problems that could cause penalties. Including "City stuffing in on-site content" which is a new organic guideline violation I recently warned you guys about.

So anyway, I don't really work on client sites any more and when I did, things used to be a whole lot easier. But if I were to do client sites again I think I'd have to be doing a complete SEO audit and would have to be charging a lot more than I used to. Because with all the organic penalties today, you can't just enhance and optimize for Local - you also need to proof and fix the entire site due to all the organic algo changes and potential penalties. (And I'm not even going to talk about all the potential problems a site could have due to previous off-site marketing that may have been done.)

Your thoughts?
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