If you subscribe to the feed or if you’ve seen the recent posts in the sidebar, you might have noticed a common theme:
You see where I’m going with this? Well, I went down about the middle of the front page to the top of the second page. Within just hours of posting these posts, the exact opposite of the intended SEO effect had taken place. Awesome, but I should have expected it!
What makes it worse is that I thought I actually had a good excuse. These posts were previously published as sub-pages, but since I had converted the page to a post Google was getting redirect errors on URLs in the sitemap. So really, I was just republishing pre-existing content and ensuring that all of my pages were getting indexed by helping the spiders avoid any kind of bad links or unpopulated addresses.
Well, Webmaster Tools tells me that all of the indexing issues have been fixed, but the semi-repetitive burst of affiliate posts is more of a drag on the SEO for your targeted keyword phrase than fixing your 404s and sitemap mistakes.
So why exactly is this bad SEO?
I think there are basically two SEO sins being committed here, but its still hard to say whether its one, the other, or both!
The repetitive use of keywords alone can be too much for Google to believe. Sure, it gets tricky because not everything has a perfect synonym and heck, Google even knows and understands synonyms. So there’s always a fine line between being niche-focused in a way that gets rewarded for being coherently relevant, and then there’s a step too far where you aim in on a few words and cram them everywhere you see an opportunity.
There was a time (I’m told) where the best way to make money online was simply a matter of making sales pages full of affiliate links and building up a bunch of backlinks to improve your rank. Well, that is how a lot of us get paid after all but Google also wants to ensure that we’re adding something of value before cashing in! So while a lot of people today think that Google just plain hates affiliates, the fact is that they’re still favoring affiliates who also provide kits of popular content that isn’t sales-oriented.
So how does one make this half-slap go away? How do we properly atone for our SEO sins?
In this case, I think I know the answer from prior experience (when you walk the line, this kind of comes up a lot).
Just write more – a lot more without any kind of sales pitch whatsoever. For every sales page there should be at the very minimum two or three purely informational ones, even more would be great for your readers but it can also make the search engines forgetting about those few pages that do get you paid. C’mon, look at this economy, we can’t afford to not get paid!!