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January 23, 2008

Google Penalties, Keeping Customers & Finding Your Muse

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EDITOR’S NOTE: See our online SEO Tutorial if you need current guidelines on how to avoid Google penalties and step-by-step search engine optimization best practices.

Aaron Solves The Position 6 Penalty

Way back in December we started hearing talk of a “position 6 penalty” that looked to be punishing sites that normally ranked in the first two positions by banishing them all the way down to position 6. There didn’t appear to be many similarities between the sites affected, just that they once held very high rankings for their keywords. Aaron Wall commented early this year that he believed the penalty had something to do with phrase relationships where the links coming into a site were considered by Google to be too tightly aligned with the anchor text used. Matt Cutts denied such a rumor but it seemed that there were a lot of reports of the same thing for it to be totally false.

Well, despite Matt’s denials Aaron is back discussing the situation today in his post How I Got My Google Ranking #6 Filter Removed. It basically sounds like he was able to regain rankings by lowering the amount of SEO on this site. If that’s the case, there’s been plenty of threads about how sometimes Google seems to punish sites that are over-optimized. Could the position 6 penalty be just another sign of that? Take a look at Aaron’s post and decide.

Retain Customers, Make More Money

The Consumerist confirms what we already know telling us that it’s more profitable to keep an old customer (pdf) than to go find new ones. A bunch of really smart Harvard researchers discovered that by decreasing the number of customers you drive away by 5 percent, you can 35-95 percent more profit. The pretty chart below illustrates the fluctuations that occur between industries. People selling credit cards take note:

Didn’t I just rant the other day about the importance of customer service? Maybe it’s time to change the way we do business. Acquiring new customers is expensive and an unstable investment. I mean, who knows is that customer will stick around long enough to be profitable? Stop focusing all your efforts on the selling and work to strengthen the relationships you have with customers who have already put their faith in you. Happy customers are more likely to refer friends, spend larger sums of money with you, and typically use fewer resources. And really, it’s just a better way to do business.

Have You Gone MADD?

Over at Copyblogger Jonathan Morrow talks about MADD: A Writing Disorder That Stifles Your Creativity and helps writers determine if they have it. Symptoms include careless spellings and grammatical mistakes, blogging without a point, doing anything to avoid writing and others. Oh dear.

Hi. My name is Lisa and I have MADD aka Muse Attention Deficit Disorder.

Luckily for me, Jonathan offers up some “cures” for the disease that I will soon be working into my blogging diet. I can’t help but wonder if SEOs and Internet marketers have their own version of MADD. If they spend so much time looking at on-page SEO elements and trying to master everything social media that they’re boring their muse to death and dimming the fire that used to guide them. If you’re feeling a bit run down, I’d encourage you to give Jonathan’s article a read and adapt it to your own needs. That Feeding Your Muse one is pretty important. Sometimes we all have to step outside our box and ourselves to get back on track.

Fun Finds

Tamar says social media is not only about social media sites and you should listen to her. Tamar is a social media princess.

It’s National Pie Day! Go treat yourself with a little sinful indulgence.

Read through Rebecca Kelley’s post entitled Your Users Aren’t Intuitive, Which Is Why Your Forms Need To Be and then check out Pat Sexton’s comment in response. Water. All over the keyboard. Thanks, Pat.

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One response to “Google Penalties, Keeping Customers & Finding Your Muse”

  1. pat writes:

    How are pretty flowers gonna grow from your keyboard if you don’t water it?

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