Should SEO Writers Use Article Spinning Software?

A couple of days ago, I received the following email from a fairly new SEO writer. As she’s just starting out, it’s taking her a long time to write SEO content for clients and she wanted to know if using article spinning software could help her cut down on the time it takes to write an article.

Following is the email she sent. 

QUESTION FROM A NEW SEO WRITER ABOUT USING ARTICLE SPINNING SOFTWARE

Hello Yuwanda,
 
Thank you very much for your tutorials and e-books. They have helped me start a new business for myself….I just completed 11 SEO articles and a webpage for my first client who was impressed with my writing.
 
There is a problem, however, I am taking far too long to write the articles. A 500 word article will take me 4 hours or more (depending on the topic) I knew my writing skills were rusty, but this is ridiculous. And at $50 a pop, not a good source of income.
 
People keep telling me about “Article Spinners” which could be useful as a tool to use, but I don’t think I would be comfortable using it like I’m hearing others are using it: taking articles off the web, giving it a spin and re-publishing it. But then again, I’ve never used one and don’t really know anything about them, other than they look like synonym generators. What are your thoughts? Do you like or use them for anything? If so, do you know any good brands?
 
Your opinion means alot. Thank you for your time and all the fabulous information.

MY ANSWER

First, I want to say congrats to this new SEO copywriter for completing her first project successfully. Once you do this, usually, you get that boost of confidence that says, “Yeah, I can really making a living as a freelance writer!” So kudos.

Second, you’re welcome on the “fabulous information” (I’m blushing). Now, to answer your question . . . 

Let me say up front that I don’t use article spinning software. I never have in spite of what you may read on the web. What I mean by this is, there is an article spinning software out there that uses my name on its site to promote their product.

I have NEVER officially endorsed an article marketing software. Someone picked up results from an article marketing experiment I ran back in 2006 and used those results in their marketing material. I highly doubt that you’d get the same results today. So if you see my name attached to an article spinning software, just know, it’s NOT an endorsement I gave.

With all of that being said, let me tell you how I feel about article spinning software.

What Is Article Spinning Software?

For those who might not know, article spinning software is software that takes text (an article) and generates a “new” version of it so that it can pass as original content (as opposed to duplicate content) if checked by plagiarism detection services like Copyscape.

The reason the word new is in quotation marks in the last paragraph is that when you spin an article, it’s not new – in the sense of being a completely different article on the same subject. It’s content that’s “spun” so that it can pass the sniff test of search engines to read it as new content.

And this SEO writer is right, article spinning software will change a lot of the words in an article (eg, the synonyms and adjectives) to make an article unique. That’s why you see so many badly “written” pages on the internet. Many of these pages are generated by article spinning software that no one has taken the time to clean; the article spinner has just spit it out and they post it without going through it to see that it is grammatically correct and that it makes sense. 

So while article spinning software can help you generate content faster, you still have to “touch” the content; ie, go through it and make sure it reads correctly.

Now that you know a bit more about what this type of software is and what it does, following are my thoughts on when it’s appropriate for SEO article writers to use article spinning software — and when it’s not.

What Does Google Consider a “Unique Page”

Search engines like Google have algorithms in place that determine what’s considered new content and what’s not. Nobody knows exactly what this is, but some SEO specialists say that a web page has to be at least 30% unique content to have Google view it as a “quality page” (ie, one that has a chance of ranking well with them).

FYI, a “web page” is usually just an article of between 300-700 words. It can be longer or shorter, but this is the standard word range.

Learn more about article spinning.

SEO Writers: When Not to Use Article Spinning Software

 I would never use article spinning software for client projects. The reason is clients hire SEO writers to produce “original” content. And while you can use the internet to find content to “spin” for them, in my opinion it’s unethical and will eventually catch up with you.

Why/how? 

Because usually content produced in a niche – especially well-written content that you will WANT to spin because it’s so good – is known to those in that niche. And, spun content is just too similar to the original.

My stuff is spun (stolen) all the time. Most writers can recognize their own work, so if you spin a piece for a client, eventually, someone somewhere is probably going to contact your client (because the content will be on their site/blog) and accuse them of plagiarism. It happens. Proof?

One SEO writer picked up a $1,700 SEO writing gig because a client had received plagiarized copy from a writer. See comments section in this link:  One SEO writer told how a client received 100% plagiarized content from a previous writer

So even though spun content isn’t 100% plagiarized content, it is theft of the very same idea/subject matter.

I get emails all the time from others alerting me that my content has been stolen. Following is a recent one. While the content isn’t spun, it’s been stolen, which proves the point that you run the risk of your clients finding out if you spin content.

Subject Line: Article theft from Yuwanda Black?

I was doing some research, looking for companies that buy high-dollar content and came across an article by you posted here: http://www.freelancewriting.com/articles/why-seo-copywriting.php.

I saw nearly the same thing here, with no by-line: http://www.cubicweb.co.uk/web-design/why-seo-copywriting-will-be-the-perfect-high-paying-work-from-home-job-with-huge-growth-potential/

And here, with an author that isn’t you. http://www.zimbio.com/SEO+Copywriting/articles/bLgHYcP15G_/SEO+Copywriting+will+Perfect+High+Paying+Work
As a subscriber to Inkwell and someone who has purchased from you before and is just now getting started with SEO copy writing myself (writing “first contact” emails this weekend) I am really annoyed at seeing this level of plagiarism. I guess it’s part and parcel of article marketing.

Again, clients don’t pay you for this. They pay you to create original, unique content – so do so.

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Editor Note:
Learn The 4 Ways I Make Money Online — and you can too!
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Examples of Content Produced by Article Spinning Software

The above-mentioned article of mine has been spun so many times it’s ridiculous. The original is here: http://ezinearticles.com/?Why-SEO-Copywriting-is-the-Perfect-High-Paying,-Work-from-Home-Job-With-Huge-Growth-Potential&id=1429853.

Here’s what is probably a spun version: http://fronkkaylynn79.typepad.com/blog/2012/02/precisely-why-seo-copywriting-will-be-the-perfect-high-paying.html  

As this illustrates, content theft is a growing problem (and another reason SEO copywriters are so in demand if you ask me). If you were a client, would you want to pay for the spun version of this article?

Exactly.

SEO Copywriters: When It’s OK to Use Article Spinning Software (IMO)

I spin a lot of my own articles – but I don’t use software to do it. I do it manually by just rewriting the article. The reason I spin my own content is I create unique, longer foundational articles for my site. Then, I’ll spin these pieces into shorter versions to use for my article directory.

For example, here is a foundational article on my main SEO writing site (this one) entitled, Freelance SEO Writing: A Million Dollar, Work-from-Home Business?  Here’s the spun version of that same article on my article directory site (as you can see, I put a lot of unique content in my “spun” articles). 

Why I Don’t Use Article Spinning Software – Even Though I Spin Content

The reason I spin my articles manually is that I know the subject matter intimately. Hence, I’m able to rewrite it fairly quickly. I would probably spend the same amount of time cleaning up a spun article, so it’s not worth it for me to use software to do this.

Now, an advantage that article spinning software does have is that you can create HUNDREDS of different versions of an article in no time. But, as I only distribute my spun content to a few sites (EzineArticles.com and YuwandaBlack.com usually), I don’t need hundreds of versions.

For the record, I spin my articles to use as article marketing pieces. I submit them to the outlets above to drive traffic to my various sites which promote my ebooks, e-classes and affiliate products.

I hope this clarifies the ins and outs of using article spinning software a bit.

Best,
Yuwanda
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An SEO Writer Asks, “How many times should I send my clients a ‘past due’ invoice without sounding desperate or pushy?”

A freelance SEO article writer I’ll call “Frustrated Waiting for Payment” sent me the following email a couple of days ago. On 5/21 she wrote:

Hello Yuwanda,

I hope all is well and you are doing great. As for me, things are slowing down a lot, which is a good thing because I am working on rebranding myself [and] raising my rates . . .

On other news, I am not really sure the proper etiquette to keep asking people to pay me past due invoices. My invoice clearly states: “Payment due upon receipt.”

While I understand businesses have billing cycles, I don’t like my invoices being paid more than 7 days late. I already sent 3 “payment reminders” to two clients who owe me past due payment. While both the payments are under $500 bucks, I don’t think there should be a problem. It’s very frustrating to do the work and not collect.

I paid other writers out of my pocket to help me, and now I am waiting for the client to return the money so I can put it back into my business. I know you said before don’t charge people 100% upfront because it will scare them away, however, I am at the point [that] if it’s under $500 they should pay up front. 

I really don’t like being stuck in this rut and I feel people that operate their business this way lack integrity. I really want to write them a letter and say: “Hey do you plan on paying me anytime soon?”

I know I may sound a little bitter, and it may be a deeper emotional issue for me. While $500 is not a lot of money to many, it’s a lot of money to me to help me pay my bills, operate my biz, etc, etc, etc. And, it hurts that I worked my a** off and paid other people to help me and now I have to put certain purchases for my business on hold because I simply don’t have the money.

I guess my real question is: How many times should I send my clients a “past due” invoice without sounding desperate, or pushy?

Thanks for all of your help!
###

MY ANSWER

Dear Frustrated Waiting for Payment:

Really, any payment that’s paid within 30 days is considered “on time.” I think as SEO writers, we get spoiled b/c we get used to being paid so quickly. But, within 30 days is standard for most businesses.
 
If a client has been paying “upon receipt,” but starts to pay less frequently than that, I’d send reminders about every 14 days.  
 
Once an invoice gets beyond 30 days, I pick up the phone.
 
Remember, it’s not the client’s fault that you run short of funds to run your business. So while I understand the frustration, it’s not something you can hold them accountable for. This is why you have to build in a cushion; this way you have the upfront funds to pay freelancers without feeling the financial hit so acutely.
 
I’ll expand more upon this in Wednesday’s post on SeoWritingJobs.com.
###

MY EXPANDED ANSWER

 As promised above, there are a few things I want to address in more detail, ie:

RE While I understand businesses have billing cycles, I don’t like my invoices being paid more than 7 days late.

As I said above, I think that many of us online writers (especially SEO writers) have gotten spoiled because we’re used to getting paid “immediately.”

BUT, I want to remind everyone that the “old school” way of doing business is – if an invoice is paid within 30 days, it’s considered “on time,” EVEN if the invoice says “DUE UPON RECEIPT.” And, this is the way many businesses still operate.

When I operated my staffing agency, I didn’t even start to call clients until an invoice was 15 days over the 30-day mark ( a full 45 days after the initial invoice was sent).

Nowadays, my clients – the vast majority of whom we write SEO copy for – pay within a week; two  at the most.

Every once in a blue moon I’ll get a client that’ll take longer to pay. And usually, it’s because an invoice has slipped through the cracks.

So, in direct answer to this freelancer’s question of . . .

How many times should I send my clients a “past due” invoice without sounding desperate, or pushy? 

I say NOT before a week or 10 (business) days. Otherwise, it’s annoying and unprofessional. Most will pay within a few days of receiving that first reminder. If they don’t, then wait another week to 10 days and send another reminder.

If an invoice is beyond the 30-day mark AND a client has a history of paying “immediately,” then I pick up the phone. I’ve had to do this exactly once since my firm has been providing SEO content (since 2007).

FYI, here’s some more insight into how to handle SEO writing clients who don’t pay in a timely manner (and other issues associated with running this type of freelance business). 

In closing — as I said in yesterday’s post on InkwellEditorial.com, which talked about freelance writing rates, by the way, enjoy, but be safe this Memorial Day.

I hope this insight helps.

P.S.: Learn more about how to work on your freelance business – instead of “in” it – in How to Build a Six-Figure Freelance Business by Outsourcing (The Freelance Writer’s Outsource Package). Paying freelancers / outsourcers is covered — and a host of other “how to freelance” business questions.

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SEO Writers: Are You Leaving Money on the Table by Not Doing This?

A couple of weeks ago, my SEO writing company landed a new client. They hired us to write 28 blog posts per month, as well as to manage their social media account (Twitter) – on an ongoing basis, for the “foreseeable” future (translation: could be long term if they like our work)). I love accounts like this because it’s a nice chunk of change each month coming from one source.

We landed the social media part of this account quite by accident. The person who contacted us is an editor at a magazine. She’s overwhelmed and needed someone she could outsource their blog’s upkeep to. She was so relieved to find out that we did social media as well. It just so happens that they have a Twitter account (and a blog) that was only updated sporadically.

So, our job is to keep the blog updated with content and update their Twitter stream, which of course would include tweeting the content we create for them.

SEO Content Writing and Social Media: It’s So Easy to Bundle Services and Earn More

As an SEO writer, you can easily increase the amount you earn from each client by offering social media account management. They are a match made in marketing heaven because as an SEO writer, you already do the hard part, ie, creating the content. Distributing it (via the client’s social media account for one) is the next natural step.

FYI, the article, 12 things to do after you write a blog post, give some excellent insight how and where to distribute SEO content after it’s written (see number 8 and 10, specifically).

You’ve read here many times that I’m an avid article marketer. And the reason is, you can write the best content in the world, but if no one reads it, it’s as effective as diddly squat! I argue that distribution is just as important as creating the content. One isn’t effective without the other.

So, if you don’t already, you might want to consider adding social media consulting to your SEO writing business’s list of services. The social media component of this clients’ contract is about 20% of the total contract. If this client is with us for a year, just that part of it alone is a nice chunk of change.

Just something to think about.

FYI, here’s more insight into the benefits of bundling your freelance (SEO) writing services.

Best,
Yuwanda
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Get SEO Writing Jobs: A Freelancer Asks, “Should I Use Bidding Sites (eg, Elance, Guru) to Gain Experience?”

I received the following question from a new SEO writer last week. She wrote:

Question from a Newbie about Whether to Use Bid-for-Pay Sites to Land SEO Writing Jobs

I want to say that I have been following you for a couple of months now and you inspire and educate those of us who dream of doing what you are doing.

I’ve read several of your books from cover to cover and have learned a lot. However, I do have a question. Do you still recommend following the same route of emailing companies as you did if I do not have much experience? Or should I spend time working on the bidding sites to gain experience? I’m not sure if the higher-paying companies even pay attention to that kind of experience.

The reason I ask this is that I do not have a degree in English or any publishing or writing background except for the bidding sites. I’ve sent out 20-25 emails to SEO companies and article writing companies and have not received a response. It is rather discouraging, but I thought it might be my lack of experience that is limiting me. One year of writing experience does not sound as impressive as two or five years.
 
I’m just wondering if you would suggest gaining more experience before pursuing the method you used.
 
Thank you for your time and all of the inspiring words you give us.

My Response

First, thanks for letting me know that what I do inspires and educates you. I can never hear this too much and always sincerely appreciate it when readers like you take the time to let me know.

In answer to your questions, first let me say, sending out 25 emails is nothing. You’re just getting started. I’ve addressed this question before here on this blog. Read this post on how to ensure SEO writing success to gain more in-depth insight.

Think of it this way, you’re starting a full-fledged business. If you’re discouraged after just sending out 25 emails and not getting a response, then you might want to rethink being in business at all (not trying to sound harsh; just being truthful).

I’ve had periods in my freelance writing career where I went months without landing a job (no exaggeration!) – even when I was doing “everything right.” It’s the way of business. But, this is when you need to dig in and work harder.

The Difference Between True Entrepreneurs and Others: Where Do You Fall?

As an aside, I think this is what separates true entrepreneurs from others. True entrepreneurs rarely get discouraged; I’ve found that they’re more likely to get frustrated, aggravated or pissed off. It’s a subtle nuance (ie, the difference between being discouraged and being frustrated), but one worth pointing out in my opinion.

You see, when a person gets frustrated or pissed off, it usually kicks them into a higher gear instead of a depressed state, which is what “discouragement” signals to me. In the case of entrepreneurs, the next gear is one of action, as in “What else can I do to make this work?”  There’s no “give up” in this attitude. Moving on . . .

As for should you try bidding sites, in my opinion, it’s not necessary. As I wrote in this post:

. . . you don’t need a formal education of any kind to become an SEO writer. In fact, one of the beautiful things about starting this type of freelance business is that age, education and experience don’t present barriers of entry. This tends to be true for web writing in general, by the way, compared to say, writing for newspapers  — where experience (and who you know) counts to some degree. 

I freely admit though, I’m prejudiced against these types of sites. In my experience, you waste too much time and have to compete against too many lowballers to land gigs. Here’s a different take on using bid-for-pay sites like Elance to land freelance writing jobs.

I just want to end this post with some things I’ve learned from being self-employed over the years.

Some Small Business Lessons I’ve Learned

I’ve been in business for myself – in one form or another (full-time, part-time) – since 1993. Following are some small business “truisms” I’ve learned. 

Business Is a Series of Peaks and Valleys: That’s just the way it is. So accept it. If you can’t stomach the ups and downs, then being your own boss may not be for you. 

Consistency Is Rewarded: If you have a business plan that you follow consistently – one that has been proven to work (like the one I outline in the SEO writing ebook) – it will pay off.

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times, if you get up every day and do what you’re supposed to do (ie, marketing), you will land clients if all other factors are in place, eg, price, good writing samples, etc. 

For example, I track income daily. Going back three weeks recently, I had a couple of bad weeks. But, I kept marketing. One of my favorite marketing methods is article marketing. My goal for this year was to write and distribute a new article every business day. I’ve missed that goal, but have been able to do about two per week. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve become more consistent, average 3-4 per week.

And you know what? Last week sales picked up significantly, which put my numbers back on track.

My point in relaying this is, when you get consistent with your marketing efforts, the results will speak for themselves. 

Numbers Don’t Lie:  Years ago, I had a business mentor. One of the things he told me was to “get intimate with my numbers.” What he meant was all the numbers of my business, eg, sales numbers, marketing efforts, client retention, etc.

As alluded to above, you can practically “guarantee” your success as an SEO writer by getting consistent with your marketing. And, once you have a few months under your belt, you’ll be able to look back and see it in black and white in a number of ways – how many clients landed, how many contacts made, how much you earn on average from each job, etc. 

It took me years to get intimate with my numbers. Once I did though, boy what a difference it made. It not only stabilized my income, it gave me more peace of mind. Now, I market without even blinking. Even though I never seem to do all I want to do, I have certain marketing tasks I am very consistent with (eg, newsletter publishing).

So, even when I have “off” months, I don’t worry – if I’ve been putting in my marketing effort – because I can look back over a defined period of numbers and see that things do even out.  

If you’re new to freelancing, it will take some time to get comfortable with your numbers and the peaks and valleys of freelancing. But again, once you make it a priority — and if you put in the marketing effort — you can practically guarantee yourself a certain salary.

Marketing Takes Time to Work: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve marketed my butt off, seemingly to no avail. Then, “all of a sudden” – a few weeks or a couple of months later – I’ll be inundated with jobs.

It seems that jobs will just start materializing “out of the blue;” but really, that’s not the case. It’s the marketing that you’ve done weeks or months earlier that’s paying off.

Where many freelancers make mistakes is marketing only when things are slow. But, as I’ve said many times, you should ALWAYS be marketing. This will keep dry spells (which we all have) to a minimum and lead to income stability (at the risk of beating a dead horse). 

You Have to Have Faith: And I don’t mean blind faith, or even religious faith. I mean faith in yourself; in your processes and procedures; and in the fact that if you put in the marketing work, the (in this case) SEO writing jobs will come.

As always, hope this insight helps.

Yuwanda
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Getting SEO Writing Jobs: A Freelancer Asks, “Will Google’s Latest Update (Penguin) Mean Less Work for SEO Article Writers?”

Google rolled out another major update last week; Google Penguin. This one focused on keyword stuffing. I had planned another post for this week, but last night, just as I was about to log off, I received the following email which changed the topic of today’s post. As an aside, this blog’s readers never cease to amaze me with your insight into the SEO writing industry. You keep me on my toes. So, thanks for that!

Question from Two SEO Writers about Google Penguin

This reader wrote:

 Hi Yuwanda,

Thanks for another newsletter full of great tips. I really don’t know how you manage to do all you do 🙂

Anyway, I wanted to ask you a quick question on a different topic not having to do with today’s newsletter-have you heard from any distressed clients about the recent Google “penguin” update last week? I have. 

In fact, my best client (who accounts for over 60% of my work) is panicked because he lost many of his local rankings for his clients. This is a guy who doesn’t do any blackhat stuff, he’s totally ethical and works his tail off (literally day and night) to get his clients ranked. Now he tells me he doesn’t know what to do, that there is no rhyme or reason to what Google is doing. He also put a hold on some regular monthly work I do for him (articles + mass distribution) until the dust settles and they figure out what they have to do to get rankings again. 

From my perspective, I don’t mind the lighter workload since I’m planning to take next week off anyway to travel back home to the good old USA, but of course I’m concerned long-term for SEO companies in general. I have a feeling many of them have been affected by this. And since these are the companies we solicit to build our clientele, I’m wondering how this might affect us down the line.  

Any thoughts you might have on this topic would be greatly appreciated. 
###

Feedback from an SEO Writer about the Google Penguin Update

About a week ago, I’d received another email from a different SEO writer who had referred to Google’s recent update. She wrote, in part: 

I’ve been so swamped with work for [my main client].  He just emailed me last night because he needs 12 emergency landing pages rewritten again.  Apparently, Google Panda [I think she meant Penguin] rolled out yet another update. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this. I really have to carve out time for industry reading, this way I can be ahead of my clients and deliver this important information.

Editor Note: FYI, to stay up to date on SEO, I read WebProNews.com and SearchEngineLand.com regularly.

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Google’s Penguin Update: My Thoughts 

Here we go again . . . just like with last year’s Google Panda update, this most recent “major” update by the search giant has sent webmasters and search marketing specialists into a tizzy.

The overall concern I want to address here is the following sentiment expressed by the first SEO writer who wrote, “. . . since these are the companies we solicit to build our clientele, I’m wondering how this might affect us down the line.”

Just like with every other Google update, I think the Penguin update means more work for SEO writers. Following are the two main reasons why.

1. Google Will Always Do Updates: The reason the word major is in quotation marks and italicized above is because Google itself has stated that it does hundreds of updates per year, as discussed in this linked-to post. However, only a few get web-wide attention like Panda (and now Penguin). 

This means that some sites will lose and some sites will win. Proof? All you have to do is follow the travails of DaniWeb after Google’s Panda Update.

No matter what happens, it spells more work for SEO writers because the sites that win need to keep pumping out content to keep their ranking, and sites that lose need to continue to add content – and possibly rewrite/tweak existing content — to reclimb the rankings.

2. The Focus Is Still On Content: The first SEO writer states: 

This is a guy who doesn’t do any blackhat stuff, he’s totally ethical and works his tail off (literally day and night) to get his clients ranked. Now he tells me he doesn’t know what to do, that there is no rhyme or reason to what Google is doing. 

No one knows what goes on in the mind of Google, so instead of focusing on what it “might” be doing, in my opinion, webmasters would do better to focus on what the search giant clearly TELLS us that it’s doing. And according to the company, rewarding quality content is what their changes are all about. 

Matt Cutts, Google’s SEO guru, flat out says as much, stating:

 The goal of many of our ranking changes is to help searchers find sites that provide a great user experience and fulfill their information needs . . . We also want the ‘good guys’ making great sites for users, not just algorithms, to see their effort rewarded. To that end we’ve launched Panda changes that successfully returned higher-quality sites in search results. . .

If your site was hit by Penguin, you should, again, focus on quality content, and not trying to trick Google’s algorithm. [emphasis added] All that Penguin is designed to do is to make Google better at busting you for abusing its algorithm. [Source: WebProNews.com article, Recovering From Google’s Penguin Update]

How to Produce Google-Friendly Content Every Time

FYI, to get your content right, keep Google’s SEO writing guidelines in mind when producing copy. 

“But I’ve Done Everything Right, Why Is Google Penguin Still Punishing My Site?”

As the DaniWeb debacle mentioned above proves, you can still ostensibly do everything right and still get Penguin-slapped. Following are a few solutions.

1. Submit Site for Reconsideration: Remember, “algorithms” are computerized, not human. Hence, sometimes a site that’s not doing anything wrong can get hit. So if you’re sure you haven’t run afoul of any of Google’s webmaster guidelines, submit this form to let Google know that your site was mistakenly penalized by the Penguin update

Before you do that however . . .

2. Determine Which Update Caused Your Site to Lose Rank: Google makes over 500 changes to its search algorithm per year. This info is straight from the company itself. Sometimes, these get piggybacked, which means that you could think you’re being penalized by the latest update (in this case Penguin), when your problems could really stem from an earlier update (eg, Panda).

So, how do you find out which update possibly caused your site to lose rank? There’s some insight in this article on how to go about this. 

3. Wait: Sometimes, all you can do is wait. This is hard, particularly for internet marketing firms whose clients are paying them to keep their rankings at a certain level. As an aside, this is why website owners  should be leery of any firm that “promises” that they can get – and keep – your site ranked at a certain level. 

As these updates show, there simply are no 100% guarantees in search.

If you’ve checked and are sure that your site hasn’t violated any of Google’s webmaster guidelines, and you’ve submitted a reconsideration request, all you can do is sit back and wait. Why wait?

Because recovery does happen – even if you don’t do anything. And the reason recoveries happen is because Google is constantly tweaking its algorithms, as the WebProNews.com article, Google Panda Update: More Recovery Stories, states, ie: 

Google continues to tweak the update and make additional algorithm changes, and we’re hearing more stories about recoveries from Panda. SearchMetrics recently reported that various sites it had previously reported as losing search visibility due to Panda had bounced back.

 In that same article, one webmaster noted:

My IFITJAMS site, which got crushed by Panda in April, recovered with no changes in the September update, and is now getting a 3X to 4X boost from the latest Panda.

So sometimes you have to wait for Google to work out the kinks in its algorithm for your site to recover. Note that this could be weeks — or months (sucks, but it’s true).

What to Do While You’re Waiting for Your Site to Recover from a Google Algorithm Update

Create New Content: In my opinion, continue to pump out quality content (content that’s in line with Google’s SEO writing guidelines).

The reason is – and I’ve said this plenty of times before — search engines are like piranha; they love fresh, informative content. So don’t stop producing just because you can’t figure out what you might be doing “wrong.” If the content is relevant and not spammy, produce more, not less – particularly at this time.

Rewrite Existing Content: Many webmasters have sites that have been online for years. This means that older content was likely not created with SEO guidelines in mind. And, even if it was, it might not have been written specifically with what Google has specifically told us it looks for (reminder: Google’s SEO writing guidelines). 

So, it might help to go back and rewrite existing content with this in mind. This is also a perfect opportunity to repurpose/update old content to get more mileage out of it.

Check your site’s meta tags: Although the on-page content may not be keyword stuffed, your meta tags might be. Many webmasters don’t pay attention to these that much these days, but Google does use the description tag, so make sure it’s reflective on what’s on that particular page (NOT what your site is about overall). 

Check site structure: Make sure it helps readers find content easier.

SEO Writers: How to Get Work from Clients Affected by Google Penguin 

I can’t answer how potential clients will react to this latest update. My guess is that some will pull back on their content orders until they figure out how to proceed (as the first freelancer stated); while yet others will forge ahead, ordering more content (and rewrites of existing content) because of the reasons I outlined here.

Either way, don’t panic. There will always be  a need for sites to have content. But when Google does stuff like this, it’s a great time to get proactive and go after more SEO writing jobs. How? An old standby I always recommend to find freelance writing jobs is creating and distributing free reports. In this particular one as it relates to Penguin, you should outline: 

 (i) What the latest update (Google Penguin) is all about: In this case, it’s keyword stuffing;

(ii) How it might have affected their site: Did they lose rank, gain rank, stay the same; and

(iii) How you can help: Use the content-related solutions offered in the “What to Do While You’re Waiting for Your Site to Recover from a Google Algorithm Update” section just above.

Again, by creating and distributing free reports like this, you prove to your clients that you’re on top of your industry and that you’re head and shoulders above the competition (because most freelancers just don’t take the time to produce industry reports to distribute for free).

All of this positions you as an expert – the SEO writing expert that can help them with their content needs.

Related Reading from Around the Web

Google Panda Now A Year Old But Only 13% Fully Recovered

Why Panda is the New Coke

Webspam (aka Google’s Penguin Update) And Panda Updates: Does SEO Still Matter?

As a reminder, all opinions expressed here are my own. I hope they’ve helped.

Best,
Yuwanda
P.S.: Start your SEO writing career today!

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