Surviving Google Panda and Other Updates

More than a year after the original Google Panda Update, there is a lot of stir about a new Panda update.

Many people are seeing significant changes in their search engine rankings, and huge traffic loss.

Whether you've experienced that with your own blog or website, or you're worried you may in the near future, this post is for you...

Google Will Drive You Crazy If You Let It!

How much time do you spend pouring over your stats, monitoring your search engine rankings, reading the latest SEO articles, or getting involved in the current "algorithm horror story" discussions on SEO forums?

I'm not suggesting you shouldn't stay informed, or that you shouldn't analyze your stats & rankings. Because you should.

But contrary to popular belief, your online business does not depend on Google. And allowing "algorithm chasing" to consume you, robs you of valuable time you could be using to grow your business and serve your market...

Shift Your Focus: A Simple Question

As you know, I have a low carb diet blog where I discuss travel & food. My assistant, Angie, also has a travel blog where she talks about her fun travel adventures. I'm sure you have a fun blog or website that you really enjoy as well.

I try to keep things in perspective when growing and running my online business, by asking simple questions like: Would I rather be backlinking or trying new recipes to share? Would I rather be studying algorithms or traveling? Would I rather be discussing SEO, or discussing travel & food?

The answers are obvious. πŸ˜‰

Solution: Get Back To YOUR Business

Of course, many of these things are necessary to grow our online business. That's a given. But you can easily market your business without using automated link building programs (I don't), or studying the latest Google update (I rarely even look at those discussions).

Instead, simply focus on marketing your business.

Google can drive you crazy if you watch it too close. So don't! Step away from analyzing search results and reading about the latest algorithms for a moment, and focus on ways to reach your market.

Consider seasonal opportunities within your niche, or news & trending topics. Get super active on Facebook & Twitter discussing these things, and interacting with your target market. Guest Blog everywhere you can, share niche-specific pics on Flickr and Pinterest, publish videos on YouTube, hop onto Google+ and talk about your topics, etc. - See: How to Use Social Media

Also look for niche specific channels or networks. For me that would be foodies or travel communities. There are niche-specific social groups and networks out there on A LOT of topics! Join them, set up profiles, and actively engage with them.

Focus on building your mailing list and engaging your subscribers with great content they ENJOY receiving. Once you have visitors on your list, you can get them to your site without relying on Google or any other source. This is the most important step to building a loyal readership - people who will link to, like and share your content FOR you, which is exactly what you want!

In other words: start actively marketing your site & content.

These activities not only help with your rankings directly, they also give you a strong alternate traffic source when Google "dips" on you.

Never let Google control your business. There are entirely too many ways to market your business online to rely solely on Google, or let Google make you want to QUIT.

Forget Google for awhile, and do what you do best. For me, that's traveling & eating. πŸ˜€ What do YOU do best?? Whatever it is, THAT is exactly what will bring Google back around anyway, and improve your positions in the search results. πŸ˜‰


p.s. Speaking of Guest Blogging, not only will it get you the highest quality backlink but it will also put you in front of an established readership. In most cases that content will also go out to their established email lists and social media channels. If you need quality traffic & links, this is the activity you need to be focusing on!

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...moreΒ»


  1. Lynn, thanks for the marketing tips you shared, and for the encouragement to not get all worked up about backlinks. They are important, but not everything. It is important not to put all of our "eggs" in the Google basket.

  2. Marketing Sherbrooke says

    Focus on White Hat SEO and Panda won't be as scary ! πŸ™‚

    • I can't see that white hat would be any guarantee to stay safe from the Pana filter, Panda has nothing to do with White/black.

  3. Lynn, you are so right! My tulip website is getting 400 plus visitors a day and I don't even pay attention to what Google does. I focus on my keywords and what I think people are searching for when it comes to their bulb gardens. There are two other search engines out there with plenty of people using them. I don't dance with Google and I do just fine. πŸ™‚

  4. Hi Lynn, what you are saying is true for people who are already influential online (e.g You, Pat Flynn, Spencer, Joseph Archibald...). It's easier for you; you can promote any site you like and it'll get a ton of visitors online. But what about us - people like me - that are just getting started or have not yet reached their breakthrough point, especially niche site marketers? Also, that system doesn't work so well for niche sites. So, I don't think I can ignore google and focus on other aspects of online marketing. Speaking of social media marketing, we all know social traffic = poor conversion.

    • Funny that you should say it only works for the influential because it's not true at all! I've been an elite member of Lynn's for the past 6 months, I'm a nobody, I have a niche site I've been marketing, and I use Lynn's exact methods. In 5 short months the site is getting loads of traffic and making money as well and the traffic from social places also buys...guess it depends on who you're listening to and your mindset as well. Maybe you need to join Lynn's elite forum and get some more help πŸ™‚

    • Totally with Jedha on this one. I'm not a super affiliate and do quite well over my web properties which are niche sites/blogs. It's not easy for the super affiliates either, they work HARD to keep their businesses going but just not nearly as much as they did in the beginning.

      My best income has actually come from my social media connections so don't discount that at all. It's very important these days.

      Maybe we can help you on Lynn's forum. There is the main forum which is free for limited help but if you want more one on one type help, site review, etc. do check out the elite membership. Well worth the investment.

    • Alice Seba says

      Hi Charley, your response is one I see all the time. People say something won't work for them because they're new. Well, I'd venture to say that guest blogging on influential dog blogs would help you grow your list faster than posting content and waiting/hoping for it to rank. Content on a high traffic blog brings instant traffic and credibility. SEO is slower and more of a crapshoot.

      I have heard the excuse that something "doesn't work so well for niche sites"...and most of the time, it's just a completely false statement. I hate to say it, but I believe it's wrong in your case too. Of course, if you are simply trying to attract people interested in instantly buying dry dog food, then you may have a hard time through the methods Lynn suggested. But if you are planning to build a long lasting online presence, you need to build a bigger connection with your dog loving audience than simply their desire to buy kibble. That is where Lynn's methods come in and they last. They aren't fleeting like a Google ranking for "best dry dog food for large breeds". They are people who stay on your mailing list for years, those who seek out your advice regularly and come to trust you as the authority you are.

      As far as social media goes, it is about relationship rather than the direct sale. It is about meeting those influential people you might blog for, connecting with your audience on a more personal level and growing your business over the long term. Personally, I am with you because it's an area I spend the least amount of time on, but you can't deny that if you're working your butt off Google rankings, avoiding social media completely would be working against yourself since the social influence on search is growing.

      It still makes sense to focus on keywords because they do convert into buyers, but if people aren't turning into long term customers and people who refer others to you, it might be time to try new methods.

      Good luck. πŸ™‚

    • Great responses already. I'll just add that I am not "Lynn Terry" on every site where I use this same organic marketing strategy. πŸ˜‰ I'm a "nobody" in the market on every new site I start under a pen name!

  5. LJ Jones says

    Great advice. I think the old way of SEO is dead. Dead is the old backlink, white hat, black hat, keyword density list of SEO strategies and tactics. You have described the new SEO. Great content and something worth linking to and worth appearing in the results. We need a new name for it, because it isn't SEO anymore.

  6. james samy says

    Thanks Lynn and Angie, the information giving is true. I seldom study or research Google trying do cause it definitely give me hard times. I have been listening to Lynn posts and doing whatever she says.

    I was elite team after awhile I drop cause of time difference but will be back. Thank you all for comments, learning a lot

    • The private forums are open 24/7, and we have members around the world in various time zones. We're also doing a live call at night once a month now, so if it's the Brainstorming Hour sessions you're referring to, that one should work out for you. πŸ™‚ I look forward to seeing you back when you're ready!

  7. james samy says

    Thanks Lynn and Angie, the information giving is true. I seldom study or research Google trying do cause it definitely give me hard times. I have been listening to Lynn posts and doing whatever she says.

    I was elite team after awhile I drop cause of time difference but will be back. Thank you all for comments, learning a lot πŸ™‚

  8. It is funny, but after every update, my rankings increase. It's probably, because I produce great content and build quality links from press release sites and I also do some blog commenting and guest posting, but press releases - that's something that helps to boost my sites.

    • My traffic & rankings improve as well. I am constantly diversifying my traffic sources and looking at new marketing strategies. You'll want to do the same. The key anymore is in variation. πŸ˜‰

  9. Great advice as usual, Lynn. Building a quality site with good information, using keywords people are actually searching for and letting others know about it through social media and guest blogging are the main ways I get traffic.

    Marketing with heart, catering to what your customers want, should be the way all businesses work instead of trying to "beat the system" in some way. Just my 2 cents though.

  10. Marketing your website and your contents must be the top priority of a blog owner who really wants to survive every blog update. However, this process can be very tedious if performed.

  11. Kim Phoenix says

    Hi, Lynn! I totally agree with your blog post. I have created many niche blogs over the last couple of years, and I learned that trying to keep up with the Google changes gets very time-consuming and frustrating. Just when you are ranking well, a lot of your earnings can be taken away from you overnight. You are so right in that your time is better spent building relationships and trust with your audience. That way, when Google makes changes (and it will continue to do so), you are not left to its mercy.

  12. Yes, yes, YES!

    After getting Google slammed Sept 3, 2011 at 8:05pm (yep, I could literally see to the minute when I fell out of Google favor..not deindexed but to pages 5-7)..I made a decision NEVER to depend on one traffic source ever again.

    The sad thing is that I knew this prior to getting slammed, but had not gotten around to developing other avenues, yet.

    Fast forward to today.. I was so bummed and discouraged about my main source of income.. and I do this full-time.. that I said to heck with Google (well not exactly 'heck' but you get my drift) that I set up a 'passion' site about downsizing to a simpler lifestyle in order to live a life of excellence.. and only spread the word via Twitter, blog commenting, and thus far three guest posts.. Oh, and a little Youtube.

    The passion site has taken off faster than a speeding bullet.. and not only do I have record subscription optins BUT my open rate is 75%+.. and I am NOT exaggerating one single percentage!

    My point?

    If you create a site around something you love.. and you can truly write NEW, unique, fresh, valuable content around that niche.. plus network a bit.. the crowds will come!!

    dee πŸ™‚

  13. Solid, common-sense advice as always, Lynn. This is the balanced way to approach internet marketing. Quality content is crucial. And people want to know that they are dealing with a real human being. Then do marketing as widely as possible, using all sorts of avenues.

  14. Pearson Brown says

    Can I just make a really obvious point that people seem to have forgotten? For every site that fell in the rankings, another one rose higher. SEO still works. Lazy, automised SEO doesn't

    • While you are right about when one goes down another goes up.. it is NOT necessarily about "SEO still works. Lazy, automised SEO doesn’t" because I am hear to tell you that I had a robust, popular site with unique content (and no backlink shenanigans) ..and yet now there are two-page garbage sites outranking me.

      FYI, I was kinda sitting on my high horse too before I got hit... thinking, well of course sites will fall if they aren't following the Google rules, or not good enough.. And then WHAM! Down I fell.

      • You're not alone either, Dee. Some well known authority sites suffered as well - in addition to other quality unique sites that I know of. While "SEO still works" is a true statement, the fact is that we should ALL be marketing our sites in as many ways as possible. That's just good business. And great insurance - or googlesurance πŸ˜‰

  15. Thanks for putting things back into perspective Lynn. It's so easy to get caught up in Google's constant changes...just be real, and get back to enjoying what you are doing. Awesome!

  16. I feel like i'm operating in a vacuum. Google is about great content, right? What if a website has great content on a new website but it has no backlinks. It's highly unlikely to ever be found unless it's a huge company/retailer. Right?

    So the idea that "great quality content" will get you rankings and business is completely flawed. I've read countless articles. Not one is specific on "what quality content is".

    Is it something that provokes other to link to it? If it's never found, how can anyone link to it?

    Furthermore, the internet is saturated with content so I can't see very much being real quality anymore. New IPAD comes out. They write an article about it on the APPLE website. That's quality useful content.

    Try comparing that to the stuff on the web that small business owners generate.

  17. Lynn, this is a great article. As always your positivity (that's not actually a word according to my spell checker but you know what I mean) shines through and is incredibly helpful as a reality check.

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