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Grow A Business That Fits Your Life
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Was your site affected by the latest Google update?

Google Update

Have you noticed an unexplained decline or increase in traffic to your website since March?

If so, Fred might be to blame.

“Fred” is the unofficial name given to the Google update that was implemented during March. This is where Google updates their search algorithm … the data they use to decide where each web page should show in the search results for specific search terms.

If you use the Google Search Console to monitor your traffic you may notice that there was no traffic – or not traffic STATS, at least – for a small time around the 8th-9th March. This is when the update was brought in and stats don’t seem to have been recorded during that time.

What Sites Does The “Fred” Google Update Affect?

While Google will never say exactly what changes were made and what they’re now looking for, sharing of on-going monitoring and research can give us an idea of what sort of sites might be affected.

From what those investigating these changes are saying, it appears that sites with “shallow” content are the most affected by a drop in the search engine rankings. That is, sites that have more ads than content or where the content is not of particular value and is there to support lots of ads and/or affiliate links.

That said, it’s important to note that ads and affiliate links themselves are okay. They’re not the issue, when they’re used properly. It’s when the main focus of the site is those ads or links, rather than being able to offer genuine value to readers.

On 13th March Google’s Gary Illyes tweeted that:

“DYK there’s no inherent problem with affiliate links? The problem is when a site’s sole purpose is to be a shallow container for aff links”

[NB: DYK = Did you know]

Google Fred update

So, affiliate links and ads on a site are still okay. You just need to use them properly.

If you do include ads or affiliate links on your website, make sure that:

  • you include these in proportion to the amount of content you have on your site;
  • your content is of a high standard;
  • the focus of your site is the content and not the ads or links.

Other things that seem to be targeted during this update are issues such as slow page speed, duplicate content, duplicate titles and other quality factors.

What Can You Do?

There’s a good post on the site – The Google Fred Update – What It’s Targeting And How To Fix It – that shows an example of two sites that are both making money by selling affiliate products or advertising. However one is offering value to readers and is a higher quality than the other.

Here are my top 10 suggestions to help your site if you think it may be one of these “shallow” sites. In fact, these suggestions are worth following regardless of whether or not you were negatively affected by this Google update.

  1. Focus on your website as a source of genuine value to your customers. It should be offering a solution to their problem.
  2. Create unique content, of a high quality. Or have it created for you.
  3. Include a variety of content on your site. A mixture of text, images, audio and original videos are worthwhile.
  4. If necessary, reduce the number of ads you have on your site. You may find people click on them more when you have fewer distractions too.
  5. As with point 4, reduce the number of affiliate links you have on your site if necessary.
  6. Create content for your readers and not for the search engines. The search engines prefer this. They like sites that are liked by internet users.
  7. “No index” your tag pages. A good WordPress SEO plug-in can help with this.
  8. Make sure your site’s layout and design are user-friendly too. Often simplicity is best.
  9. Include your keyphrase(s) within your content, but only as much as is relevant and beneficial to the content and your visitors. Don’t add keyphrases just for the sake of it or to make sure you include it x number of times.
  10. If you haven’t already done so, use Google’s tools such as Analytics and their Search Console. These are both free to use and will help you to monitor and maintain your site.

Sure, there’s other things you can do to improve your site. But focus on those 10 points above and you’ll be off to a good start.

Staying In Google’s Good Books:

Remember … Google is not your enemy.

They simply want to ensure that people searching for information are provided with suggestions for the most helpful sites for their searches. So by giving people what they want you’re giving Google what they want and helping your site too.

If you’d like help in creating content that will keep your site popular with your potential customers (and Google), my online class The Content Classroom is what you need. This class is currently closed for new members however you can register your interest for it by clicking here. That way, you’ll be one of the first to be notified when it opens again.

BIG Question: How can I get more traffic to my website?

How can I get more traffic to my website?

I’ve been helping business owners grow their businesses for almost 20 years now and there’s one question I get asked more than any other. That is:

“How can I get more traffic to my website?”

Now to be honest, that’s probably not the right question to be asking. Getting more traffic doesn’t necessarily mean anything. If it’s the wrong type of traffic, all it means is that you get more people visiting your site (and possibly leaving again before even reading a single word!)

What you really want to know is:

“How can I get more quality traffic to my site;
visitors who like what I offer and who will buy my products or services?”

Am I right?

What’s The Answer?

Well, the short answer here is that there are a number of things you can do and some traffic generation strategies are going to work better than others for some markets. There are also strategies that might work for a little while, but then something changes and they’re no longer as effective.

Or in some instances, they can cause LESS traffic to come to your site. Take, for example, some of the now-outdated back-linking and black-hat SEO strategies that were so popular just a few years ago.

Then Google made some tweaks to their search algorithms and overnight, 1,000s of websites lost their high-ranking positions in the search results or were removed from the search results altogether.

Some online business owners who relied on that traffic lost their entire income stream quite literally overnight. (HINT: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket … or one income stream. More on this another time.)

What I’ve been working on in recent months is a system that helps you to not only get more traffic to your website, but to also increase your leads, subscribers, customers, repeat customers and referrals. All this then leads to an increase in profits as well as helping you (or your business) become a leader within your industry. Or as an INFLUENCER.

Actually, it’s a system that I’ve been using with great success for years now, with solid foundations that will last long-term. But in recent months I’ve been documenting the process and refining it further. I want to make it as easy as possible for others to implement too.

New Video Coming Soon:

Now I’m working on a fantastic video for you, to explain this system in the simplest way possible.

This video contains my answer to that most-asked question:

“How can I get more traffic to my website?”

I hope to have this video ready for you by next Tuesday. If you’re subscribed to my email list for updates, keep an eye on your inbox then. If you’re not already a subscriber but would like to receive updates via email, enter your details in the form in the top-right of the sidebar of this page. That way you won’t miss out.

101 Tasks You Can Outsource

tasks you can outsource

One of the questions I get asked a lot from small business owners is, “What tasks can I outsource?”

Without a doubt, there’s a LOT of things to do when you are a small business owner – whether you’re a solo-preneur or run a micro or small business. However often smaller business owners don’t have the budget to be able to employ help on a full-time or even part-time basis.

This is where “outsourcing” can be so helpful. Outsourcing simply means that you hire freelancers, contractors or other business owners to do certain tasks for you. This could be anything from hiring a graphic designer for a one-off design project to hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) who helps with your admin assistance on a weekly basis, as needed.

In answer to that often-asked question of “What tasks can I outsource?” I’ve created a video for you. It’s called 101 Tasks You Can Outsource and – not surprisingly – I talk you through 101 tasks that many business can be, and should be, outsourcing.

Click the “play” button on the video below to watch the 101 Tasks You Can Outsource video now.

I know this sort of “list” in a video can be handy to have as a text document too. So if you would prefer a summary of these 101 tasks you can download, click the link below to download the PDF summary:

101 Tasks You Can Outsource

I sincerely hope you find this helpful and that it helps you to develop and grow your business.