Panda and Penguin took its toll on website owners this year. Whether they caused their own issues, or if their ignorance in hiring a bad SEO company caused the issues, there were definitely a lot of sites who got hit pretty hard with Google’s big ban hammer. But the one thing that became quickly apparent when webmasters started bitching and moaning on various Google and webmaster forums, it was that far too many people relied on the free flow of traffic from Google they had come to rely on. Hello people, ever heard of diversity?
It is far too easy for people to become reliant on their free traffic and then plan their financial life around not losing that traffic, whether it is a bigger mortgage payment, more toys or other family members not having to work any longer. People think they are untouchable because “my site has been number 1 for three years, I’m invincible!” or, laughingly, because “I know Matt Cutts!” (Good luck with that one!) But when it all comes crashing down, one thing becomes apparent – those people had all their eggs in one basket, and they didn’t diversify.
Most successful organic SEO experts all have diversity in common – and the rest are just lucky. Even those who are on the straight and narrow and never so much as look towards that line, still run the risk of a negative SEO campaign against them or simply something out of their control – a downed ad server or hacked website – that results in income dropping from a site or two. But you can bet they have sites in a variety of market areas to diminish the chances that all their sites would be hit at once and that they use a variety of SEO techniques, especially when employing cutting edge techniques that could be targeted by Google in the future.
It is so surprising the number of SEOs who STILL have all their eggs in one basket, even in a post-Panda and –Penguin world. They have their one money site and invest everything into that one site. Not to say that continually building on one site is a bad thing, but adding new sites in the same market area that are completely unconnected to the current moneymaking one, or branching out into completely unrelated areas is a no brainer – yet so many SEOs still don’t do it. Why the hell not?
Whenever anyone complains about how Google sucks because they got banned in Google, the next thing they complain about is how they can’t afford their mortgage or be able to feed their families – as if the Google algorithm or a search team member will feel sorry for them and wave that magic wand to restore their spammy sites in the search results. Well, what you should ask them is why they had all their eggs in one basket? Everyone should make sure that multiple sites could take major hits in the search results, but know that the remaining sites will still be able to pay their mortgages, school tuition, rent, loans or whatever their flavor of debt is.
If you are reading this, and you have all your eggs in one basket, the wheels should already be spinning in your head about how you can diversify and create new unconnected sites to protect you against any loss of Google rankings. And even if you made your mark across multiple market areas, it is never a bad idea to get even more eggs in your basket – the more eggs you can stuff in that basket, the better your longterm survivability will be when the next Google updates happen.
So who here has all their eggs in that one basket, and just how much have you diversified for those who are spreading those eggs out?