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The Truth About WordPress Slap

Folks in the Internet marketing world are obsessed about losing their rankings on Google. Google drives a whole lot of traffic, and you simply cannot compare it to Yahoo! or other search engines when it comes to traffic potential. I used to be one of those folks who had this obsession with my rankings. If I lost a place on the SERPs, I would just get mad or completely overhaul my blog. I would check my rankings every hour to see if there had been any changes. Those are the dark age days…

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Google does slap folks and sites that allow folks to take a shortcut to the top of the SERPs. Search engine optimization is all about hard work, and you cannot expect to buy or shortcut your way to the top. Now, you may come right out of the gate and have the best site in your niche, but Google and other engines are not smart enough to realize if you are “legit.” Besides, consistency matters as well, and website who have been around more than you have may get the nod over you.

Unless you haven’t been paying attention, a whole lot of folks have been complaining about their sites having dropped or disappeared from the face of Google results pages. That could be devastating if your mortgage payment depends on it. But blaming WordPress for your failure to comply with Google guidelines is just another way of not taking responsibility for your actions.

Google has prepared a whole list of guidelines for all webmasters to read, and just because you are running WordPress, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read it. For instance, WordPress does suffer from duplicate content issues, and you will need to modify your .htaccess to fix those issues. In addition, you need to make sure you have the right permalink structure to maximize your SEO rankings. Now this is important: ALWAYS look out for nasty errors in your code. My site disappeared from Google a couple of months ago, and I tried everything I could to get it back. Nothing worked. I was lucky to try W3C validator, and found out that my code had a nasty error in it that was blocking the whole validation process. Now if the validator can’t go through your code to figure out more errors, there is a good chance Google bot can’t either. Needless to say, I was back in the SERPs two weeks after I fixed the error.

It’s true that your WordPress site can get slapped by Google. But it’s also true that you should be responsible enough to take care of your WordPress site. Blaming the platform for your woes in the organic search channel is pointless and a waste of time.

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