It is fine and dandy to find an awesome product to promote with a slick sales page, but it will do you no good if you can’t rank your site to put it in front of your prospective buyers!
And isn’t it funny once you sort of figure out how to rank your website on the first page of Google, they go and throw an update like Penguin 2.0 at you!
If you were unlucky, you may have seen your site penalized and sent to the bottom of the search engine Pit of Doom. If you were lucky you didn’t notice the update at all, or quickly recovered.
Whether you are going to pursue launch jacking or simply going to promote a product from Amazon, you will need to understand a little about the Google Penguin 2.0 update to build affiliate sites that rank in the post-Penguin world.
Below is an update to the search engine optimization methods I teach in my free affiliate marketing training 7 Steps To Affiliate Success based on the recent 2.0 release.
What Was The Purpose Of The Penguin 2.0 Update?
Google released Penguin 2.0 in late May of this year, which was the big sequel to the over-optimization focused Penguin roll out last year.
It was slowly revealed the purpose of the latest update was to again focus on keyword over-optimization, which has been a staple of ‘spammier’ affiliate sites in the past.
It had been common practice to quickly rank your website by keyword ‘stuffing’ you page by using your keyword over and over again. Google realized this created a negative user experience as most of these sites were very thin on content and were filled with affiliate links.
These same sites were often times blasted with thousands of backlinks, mostly using the main keyword as anchor text as well. To make matters worse, these were typically Exact Match Domain (EMD) websites as well.
You have to understand that Google wants you to be able to find useful content for whatever it is you are searching for. How do they know what you find useful? They take in many factors such as bounce rate and click through rate.
If people aren’t clicking on websites ranking in the search results, or if visitors don’t stay on those sites very long, Google assigns a lower value to those sites the next time those keywords are typed into the search bar.
Digging deeper, Google’s algorithms identify other factors as to why those websites are poor performers. These are the same algorithms that discover high keyword density, both on-page and in backlink anchor text.
The bad news is, if your site was affected negatively by the update it may be tough to recover. I do know of plenty of website owners who have had success bringing their websites back from the dead, but it took a bit of time.
The good news is, we can take what we’ve learned from the updates and apply them to SEO techniques that work to build and rank our affiliate sites in a way that pleases both Google and the user.
Post Penguin 2.0 SEO Strategies That Work Today
You can think of this as your guide to ranking affiliate websites quickly in the Post Penguin world! I will talk a little first about the website content and on-page SEO, and will then cover some great off-page strategies that are getting great results.
The strategy I talk about below should fill in for the traffic getting lessons I provide in my free affiliate training course here.
I am a ‘graduate’ of both of these courses and they are now the only ones I recommend for learning SEO.
On-Page SEO and Website Content
One of the great things being discovered is you can get solid rankings in all search engines by simply having solid on-page SEO. I have a page on one of my websites that ranks #1, #2, or #3 for about 7 high-click keywords with no backlinking.
The most important thing is to create useful, relevant content for your website. Your #1 objective should be to maximize the user experience and keep your visitors engaged.
You will do this first by using solid keyword research, and then building your website around your target audience. You’ll want to write solid articles (or order articles like I do), and include pictures and/or videos related to the content.
Videos are especially powerful now as they keep visitors on your website longer, which leads to a lower bounce rate. (Google loves this!)
Here are a few other things to keep in mind:
Domains: You don’t necessarily need an EMD to propel yourself in the rankings anymore. You will build your site’s relevancy through proper title and content creation. But if you do decide to use an EMD, just be very careful of how often you use your main keyword on your site.
Keyword Density: You will want to pay attention to this a little more, but not over focus and lose site of writing natural content. Try and keep the density of your keyword phrase to around 1%. You can check your keyword density for free with tools like SEO Book.
Website Interlinking: Be sure to link to different pages on your website throughout your content if it makes sense. If you are talking about schools in your post, and you have a page on your website all about schools then link to it from your post. This helps strengthen your on-page optimization.
Image Alt Text: Pay attention not to over-optimize your images. Before it may have been common practice to use your main keyword throughout your image alt text and titles, but now focus on describing what is exactly in the picture. You should be choosing relevant images, so using more realistic alt text and title descriptions will help build more related keywords for your site to rank for.
When you begin off-page SEO, you’ll want to keep the same focus on not over-optimizing for your main keyword. Work in plenty of branded anchor text (www.yourdomain.com, yourdomain.com, etc) and general anchor text (click here, visit this site) in with your main keyword and related keyword anchors.
Also, make sure you are not blasting links to your website. You want to have a natural build of backlinks. The only exception is when you use a press release, since press releases typically get syndicated rather quickly but this is natural for a press release.
Both Bring The Fresh and OMG Machines provide an exact timeline on what backlinks to build and when to build them to quickly and safely rank your websites on page 1, so I will not cover my backlinking schedule here.
Below are some of the resources that are working today for effective backlinking:
Press Releases: Press releases are a great way to get high PR backlinks, brand exposure, and residual traffic to your websites rather quickly. One of the sites I use for both free and paid press release submissions is PRLog.
Unique Article Wizard: UAW is still effective for getting relevant backlinks for your website. You will want to make sure you are mixing up the anchor text, and limit your submissions to no more than 5 a day for new sites. I order my UAW articles from iWriter, and spin them at the word and sentence level. You can do this with a tool like Spin Rewriter.
Magic Submitter: Magic Submitter is becoming more popular than ever for building quality backlinks. MS is like getting several products in one. For the same price as UAW, you get the ability to build tiered backlinks with articles, videos, web 2.0 properties, social bookmarks, and more. They offer a 1-month trial for less than $5.
When I build my affiliate websites I don’t worry too much about search engine updates. The reason is I build my sites with myself in mind. I want my site to be one that I would click on, and spend some time browsing the content.
If you create your website with this in mind, you will survive updates and benefit as the competition falls off from algorithm penalties.
The main thing is to create useful and relevant content. Everything else will fall into place after that.
You can also get a complete affiliate marketing training course that will show you how to build profitable affiliate websites, including how to get traffic by clicking through here.
And of course, you can definitely join me below if you are interested in receiving great affiliate training tips and strategies for Free.