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Google Penguin and Link Building for Small Businesses: 4 Tips

When Google Penguin 4.0 was released in October of 2016, one of its main goals was to target and reduce the rank for sites that were found to have poor links. While the Internet search engine giant’s intention was to improve user experience and de-index spammy sites, some webmasters with legitimate websites took a hit. If your website was one of the many small business sites flagged by the Google Penguin update, then you may still be trying to repair the damage that was done. However, there are ways to protect your site and avoid having it ranked down further.

 

1.      Be Diverse with Links and Anchor Text

 

The best way to protect your small business site from getting slapped by Penguin is to have a great deal of diversity with your anchor text and link building. Anchor text is what creates links on your page (or “clickable” text,) and this is mostly what Google Penguin is targeting. If you create too much of this text on your site and do not diversify your keywords and anchor text, there is a good chance that you might incur a penalty.

 

Instead of trying to use these keywords to increase your ranking, try to focus on the right kind of link building that will both avoid this problem and bring increased traffic to your site. The links that you create should be focused on quality, not quantity. This may take some more time and effort on your part, but effective Google marketing is not accomplished overnight, so building up a quality website with researched keywords will help you avoid incurring future penalties.

 

2.      Avoid Older Link-Building Tactics

 

Some small business owners take advantage of forum profiles and comments with built-in backlinks for link building, but this is now a dangerous tactic with Google Penguin. It’s easy to create these links, but it is unwise to rely on them too much. Even if you are making relevant comments on a site, if you make too many, you might be targeted. Instead, focus on creating backlinks from quality sites.

 

Link building through social sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, is usually more effective when it comes to both increasing traffic and protecting your site from being penalized. If you want to avoid the Google Penguin slap, then learning quality link building can be one of the best ways to do so.

 

3.      Remain in the Know

 

One of the most effective ways to avoid being penalized by Penguin can be to stay informed about changes to the algorithm. This can help you avoid making errors that you might otherwise make out of ignorance when it comes to link building for business.

Google creates updates at least a few times over several years and the results from previous updates may take time to show, so track your rankings carefully and set up Google alerts for keywords pertaining to Penguin algorithm changes to ensure that you’re always in the know when it comes to keeping your site on track with the company’s link building guidelines. You can also follow the company on social media to read about the latest news and updates.

 

4.      Look To Successful People for Guidance

 

Proper coding, link building, and backlinking can be frustrating, especially when your business is new and there are many other duties to perform. However, you can look for guidance by following in the footsteps of other successful entrepreneurs, such as technology and communications expert Peter Foyo, who has used his knowledge and talent to build his company, Principal Standard Group, to international success. Studying his techniques and those of other powerful entrepreneurs can keep you motivated, even when the odds seem insurmountable.

 

Staying in the good grace of Google Penguin and its algorithms can be daunting for you as a small business owner. However, staying updated and building healthy linking practices can help you succeed.

 

Your Small Business Needs Cyber Security

Just because you own a small business does not mean your security threats are small. Small businesses are especially vulnerable due to their lack of security. Forty-three percent of cyber attacks target small businesses. Cyber criminals are aware of the shortcomings in cyber security small businesses face. They are working with cheap, outdated equipment and may have a less knowledgeable staff. It is time to make cyber security a priority for your business.

 

Targets

 

Your small business is a prime target for hackers. You have more digital assets than individual consumers and less security than larger businesses. Many small businesses underestimate their vulnerability, assuming they are not a target. There are many techniques hackers use to attack small businesses.

 

  •        Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) – These long-term targeted attacks use multiple phases to avoid detection.

 

  •        Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) – Hackers intentionally overload a target’s website or network system with requests with the goal of causing the website or network to shut down.

 

  •        Malware – “Malicious software” is any program introduced into the computer with the intent to cause damage or allow unauthorized access.

 

  •        Password Attacks – There are many ways hackers can gain access to your password. The three main approaches include brute-force (guessing), dictionary attack and keylogging.

 

  •        Phishing – This is the most common form of cyber attack. Sensitive data is collected through legitimate-looking websites. These are usually sent via email.

 

Educate Yourself

 

Consider taking online courses to increase your knowledge of your risks and solutions. Schools like Maryville University offer courses and degree programs in cyber security. You can take self-paced training courses that allow you to educate yourself despite your busy schedule. Online learning is a great resource for busy entrepreneurs. You are not bound to physical class sessions. You can easily access classes from anywhere. Since you are pumping all of your income into building a business, you want to save money at every opportunity. Internet-based courses save you both time and money.

 

Once you have the knowledge, pass it on to your employees. Make sure they are aware of the reality of online threats. Make sure there are security practices and policies in place and make sure the staff is aware of them. Social networking is a common distraction in the workplace. Educate employees on safe practices. Hold employees accountable to your business’s internet security policies and procedures.

 

Be Safe

 

It is important to do your best to protect yourself and your business against cyber attacks. As a small business, you are a target. Here are five steps to help keep information safe online.

 

  •        Enable strong, two-factor authentication and create strong passwords

 

  •        Update your operating system, browser and other critical software regularly

 

  •        Make communication about cyber safety a priority around the workplace

 

  •        Use privacy settings and limit the amount of sensitive information shared online

 

  •        Always verify unknown links, attachments or emails before opening

 

Solutions

 

Different types of security software provide varying levels of protection. Antivirus software protects against most types of malware and is very common. Firewalls prevent unauthorized users from accessing your computer or network. This is a great added level of protection. It is also wise to invest in a data backup solution. If information is lost or compromised, it can be easily recovered from your backup source. Encryption software helps protect sensitive data.

 

Don’t delude yourself into thinking your small business has nothing worth stealing. Don’t allow yourself to be a target. Educate yourself and yourself on the dangers of cyber threats. Create enforceable internet security policies and procedures. Use safe practices to protect your passwords and sensitive information. Cyber security should be a top priority. Put protections in place and make sure to backup all your important information in case of a security breach.

 

 

Web Design for Small Business

The design of your website is an important element in its success. Your customers want a customized experience that will tell them what they want to hear and need to know. This means that you need to have an informative homepage that is part of a site that is easy to navigate.

Social media is a huge influence in the success or failure of your site. Make sure that you have share buttons on each page of your site. You want visitors and customers to be able to tell their friends about your site and what you have to offer.

A blog is another tool that you need to use to attract attention to your page. Having fresh content loaded to your site on a regular basis will help you stay relevant in search results and give visitors something to look forward to when they visit your site. The website builder from web.com will help you customize your site to give it the look and feel that your customers want. It is a good idea to test your site before it goes live to see which fonts and colors work best as well as where you want to place ads for maximum clicks.

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