By Paul McCarthy
Time and time again I hear Webmasters complaining about their sites getting slapped. In fact, if you take a look at Google's official Webmaster forum, you'll be shocked at the number of new threads where business owners are pleading with the moderators for a reason why their site has dropped 10 pages down the rankings.
It's soon brought to their attention that the moderators have no control over the listings and 9 times out of 10 there's nothing they can do to resurrect their site's rankings other than playing the waiting game.
How would you feel if you relied on Google for 80 percent of your traffic, and it suddenly dropped in the rankings overnight? And, if you're sitting there shaking your head thinking that it won't happen to you because you're a "good guy" and you follow all the Webmaster rules, then you need to seriously re-evaluate your mindset because time and time again I see innocent sites with great content get the "good news."
Google reportedly updates its algorithm over 200 times a year
This time next week 50 percent of the backlinks pointing back to your site could be instantly discounted because the latest updates deems them as being too "spammy." Where does that leave you? 50 places down the rankings and a dismal outlook for next quarter's financial results.
So, now that I've scared the heck out of you, I'm going to give you three ways in which you can safeguard yourself from Google's right hook and put you in a position far stronger than your competitors. It'll also help you sleep at night!
1.Take Advantage of Untapped Traffic Sources
I am serious when I say the traffic generating potential online is incredible. By going one step beyond that of your competition, you can really get a foot up and get your brand in front of a TON of laser-targeted prospects.
Did you know that there are literally hundreds of high traffic Web sites out there that will publish your content and let you include a small pitch and link back to your Web site? I'm not talking about article directories here! I'm talking about hugely established and well respected sites that get hundreds of thousands of hits per month. So, do you think it's worth spending a couple of hours writing an article to get your name in front of that hoard of traffic? Of course it is!
Are you skeptical? Don't think that it works? Well, you're reading my article aren't you?
Not only will you get hugely targeted traffic, but you'll also get some incredibly powerful back links (to keep the big G happy until it gets trigger happy again), brand recognition and be able to establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Here's a tip, if you're a new startup and you're doing something interesting and something that people will want to read about (a USP that nobody else delivers or an alternative way of thinking for example) then head on over to Mashable and write them a nice little article. That'll kick start your new business for sure!
2. Build a List if Subscribers
Outside of the Internet marketing niche and large corporate companies, I rarely see list building for email marketing done effectively. Yet building a list tripled my income within the first couple of months and helped me to build a relationship with prospects that over time I converted into buyers, some of whom became repeat buyers. Without a list, I simply would not have a way of building up a relationship, trust, authority, and my bottom line. So, in basic terms a list makes you more money, but it doesn't stop there...
It also provides you with a sense of security— you have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that if at any time every single last piece of traffic dried up overnight, you'd still make the payroll and survive until you figured out the underlying problem.
But how do you build a list of subscribers if you're not technical? Hosted services such as Aweber have made it so simple to set up your autoresponder service that all you need to know how to do is copy a bit of code into your squeeze page— it's as simple as that.
3. Start an Affiliate Program
I know some companies that do absolutely nothing to get traffic to their Web site. They don't write articles, they don't backlink to their site, they literally do nothing and let an army of affiliates do the job for them. And the army produces incredible results!
The great thing about an affiliate program is that there is no risk as a vendor. You do the sums up front, figure out how much you're prepared to pay someone for making a sale on your behalf and that's that. How would you like a no-risk, pay on results, unlimited sized sales force at your disposal?
You can really attract a bucket load of affiliates if you're selling digital products with reasonably high profit margins, high valued products so that you can afford to give quite large payouts per sale or, the gold pot of them all, a service that is billable on a monthly basis so that the affiliate can earn a small monthly retainer per sale.
And don't be afraid to start an affiliate program— you don't even need to run it yourself if you don't want to. There are a number of excellent affiliate brokers out there who will manage the tracking, payments and creatives on your behalf —you just need to find one that suits you and get cracking. Should you choose a managed affiliate program then you'll usually be expected to pay a small fee up front for setup costs and then a small percentage of earnings thereafter.
Please, take my advice and don't get into the position where your business is relying on Google. In the offline world it's akin to being in the wholesale business with one contract to a huge retailer. What happens when that retailer doesn't renew the contract? Bad things happen!
You can choose the three methods I've mentioned above, or find other ways of generating laser targeted traffic such as PPC, press releases, e-book creation, video marketing and so on— it doesn't matter how you do it, just do it!
About the Author
Ninety-five percent of affiliate marketers are doing it wrong. Discover the five shortcuts to huge affiiliate checks: http://www.amshortcuts.com —Paul McCarthy is a full time Internet marketer who specializes in traffic generation, SEO, article marketing and consultancy.