Google Penalized You? Here Are 6 Traffic Alternatives So You Don’t Have to Come Back (Ever)

This post is about SEO, Traffic Building

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Got penalized?

Believe it or not, it’s a common experience. Today’s Web community is mostly Google-oriented in its approach to website creation and online relationships, but Google constantly changes the rules of the game, so it’s easy to miss an update and end up with a penalty.

I also got penalized— several times. I used to cry over it years ago, when my entire income came from text link advertising and sponsored posts and advertisers complained every time they found out my PageRank had gone down, often denying me my hard-earned money just because there had been an algo update between the day I wrote the post and they day payment was due.

Well, I don’t care anymore— and I’m happy to say I still get advertisers on my penalized blogs, because they finally saw the light and realized that it’s traffic they should seek, not a (no longer updated) green bar.

Uhm.

So, where should you look for traffic when Google hits your site and you lose more than half of your daily visitors?

1. There’s more out there than you can imagine

I recently wrote an article for Relevance.com where I explain how you can sustain your website traffic and sales while you work to fix a Google penalty.

However, you don’t have to go back to Google if you don’t want to. There’s a wealth of ways to drive traffic to your website out there and Google becomes an infinitely small factor in comparison.

In addition to the alternatives listed in my article at Relevance (read it, seriously, because there are quotes from people with incredible expertise in there), Khaidem from AllAbtTech.com suggests you use:

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These methods work because they are content-based and what users seek online is information (no matter the purpose; it’s information even if you keep a jokes blog or you write short stories).

2. Post, listen, post, repeat

“I would just post regularly would that be daily or once every two days”, says Liudas Butkus from EasyM6, “and I would promote my posts on social media and all the other channels. They can bring a ton of traffic.”

When you post and then promote your posts, don’t grab your keyboard and dive into the writing of your next post. Not immediately, at least. Take some time to listen— read the comments you receive, respond to them, look at the social shares you got and see if they come with commentaries as well.

Your next post may be pre-allocated, but you can make the post after that an answer to your readers’ doubts, questions and feedback.

And mention your commenters in your post! Not just it shows them that you care, but it also helps drive more traffic because those commenters will likely turn into returning visitors.

3. Get your friends on your side

“Traffic comes from links, so get all your members/friends writing posts and guest posts with your link in the signature,” says Philip Turner from Entrepreneur Difference. “If links to your site are a problem then maybe an ebook with embeded links to various pages of your site.”

Friends can do better than PR people if they believe in you and in what you do. Tell them about your projects, keep them up to date about your blog posts, interviews, citations and so on. Give them a reason to link to you.

4. Use infographics

Gareth James of Garethjames.net says that “the best method is to invest time and money into high end content like interactive infographics. With good outreach and PR these can attract converting traffic and quality links.”

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If you are short on money and you can’t afford a graphic designer, build your infographic around colored text and titles and use public domain images.

Or, if you have art skills, draw it yourself, by hand. Then add text with a graphic software like Gimp.

5. Leverage your social profiles

David Leonhardt from THGM Writing Services shares good advice in this sense:

One of the best ways to build traffic is to grow your social profiles. The first step is to make sure that your profile includes your URL and some incentive or motivation to visit, such as your USP or a free download offer.

The next step is to start following and interacting with as many people as possible, either highly targeted or wide open (depending on the nature of your website, your product or your service). Most people follow back, or at least consider following back, so many will check out your profile.

Sending a message to new followers starts to build the relationship. Be careful about automated messages, though. An automated “Welcome” DM (direct message) on Twitter might turn people off. It is a calculated risk you will have to test for yourself. I have seen some people on Tsu create a welcome post for each new follower, and I have seen this also on Twitter. It’s a lot of work, but it could be worth doing for all new followers or a very select targeted portion of new followers.

The team at Abacus Marketing adds:

Obviously social media is going to be one of the main referrals of traffic and can work wonders for sites with penalties. However, our advice would be not to start when the penalty arrives, but ensure you’re building it up beforehand.

In addition, sites with strong communities such as Reddit and others can be a great source of traffic too. People tend to be interested in a specific topic and if your site can offer something of use on here it can be very valuable for traffic.

Just take David’s and Abacus’ advice to heart and you’re going to drive a lot of traffic from social media.

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However, if you want to go the advertising route instead, Facebook ads are a good option.

“[They] are a good way of still getting targeted traffic while you’re battling the penalty,” explains Cleverpedia, “Try drilling down to as specific a demographic as possible; it’s even possible to pay per click out to your website.”

6. Community content

“Use sites like Buzzfeed or others that allow community content,” suggests Cormac from My Online Marketer. “Creating an apt piece of content that uses keywords your site aims for and then pointing some quality links on there will help move it up the SERPs, as these are high authority sites that Google loves and they tend to be seen more in the search results. You can then benefit from some of the referral traffic from people landing on these authority community site pages.”

What if you still want to get back in Google?

Then you may use Alex Yong from Techmania ‘s advice: “when rewarding a guest with a non nofollow outbound link, make it a twitter link, not a link to a domain”.

How do you cope with a penalty? Are you interested in getting back in Google’s index?

Shares your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Originally posted on: Written on February 15, 2015, Sunday

Luana Spinetti freelances as a Marketing writer and a traditional-plus-digital artist. She also designs and codes for fun, especially Wordpress and HTML5 themes. She loves Web Marketing for the creativity outcomes it produces and its power to bring people together. Contact Luana on Twitter or via email here.
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