Google’s “Helpful Content” Update Is Not So Helpful To Small Businesses

If you have noticed some big changes in your search engine placement recently, you’re not the only one. Google recently updated their algorithm to expand the “helpful content” factors. Their stated goal was to remove sites with “low-quality” content that was targeted at search engines instead of end users. The update disproportionately hit small sites, sites that use AI-generated SEO content and content mills. 

96% of Top 10 Sites Have 1000+ Links from Unique Domains

To make matters worse, small sites and local businesses were hit hard with undisclosed minimum backlink requirements. Independent research found that you need at least 1000 unique domain links to be competitive for high-competition search phrases.

Only 0.3% of Websites Ranking in the Top 10 Had Less Than 100 backlinks, and None Had 50 Links or Less

Google couldn’t keep all the little sites out, but almost all of them are gone from the organic search results. While we have had great success at getting small sites to rank, it’s getting harder every day without backlinks.

What Can You Do To Increase Backlinks?

Link building is a long, labor-intensive process. Using automated link submission systems does you more harm than good. We can help.

Here are 6 Proven Link-building Building Techniques

  1. Industry/Trade Site Listings. Find and claim your listing on various industry sites. This includes sites like your local chamber and the Better Business Bureau.
  2. Guest Blogging/Blog Exchange. Partner with other businesses in your area or market vertical and trade blog posts with cross-links between your sites. This works great with vendors, suppliers and customers.
  3. News/PR/Advertorial. Generate content that can be added to online news sources. If you already produce regular news style content, consider adding an RSS feed to get it to spread faster and further.
  4. Broken Link Fixes. Many large sites have a hard time keeping up with broken links. Find sites with content related to your industry, services or products and scan them using a broken link checker. Then contact the website owner to provide a link on your website that can fix their broken link.
  5. One-up The Competition. Find sites that link to your competitors’ pages. Create content that is better than theirs. Then contact the linking websites to suggest they update their links.
  6. Sponsor Events. Find local organizations that are looking for sponsors and offer to donate a little in exchange for a blurb and a link back to your website.

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