Last week, Robin Good of MasterNewMedia suddenly experienced a drop of incoming traffic. As an indepedent online publisher, Robin relies on organic searches (primarily Google) for his business. Unbenownst to him, his site somehow ran afoul of the Google’s guidelines, and his research via Google’s Webmaster Central yielded some clues to why his site was penalized by Google.Why is this important from a PR perspective? Many PR agencies are helping or advising clients about blog strategies. A key component of this should include at least optimizing the blog for search engines (SEO). What Robin experienced, from what I can understand, is deeply technical. Unless a PR agency has a division devoted to this or is affiliated with an interactive agency, I would suspect that this is also beyond the basic understanding of create a blog and promote it.
According to ComScore, Google has nearly 50% of the search market share as of May 2007 of this year. If you inadvertently do something that goes against Google’s policies, you could lose a significant portion of your audience. And if traffic to the blog is how you are measuring success to your client, then how do you manage this?
I strongly advise any PR practictioner advising clients on blogs to read the full story – Google Nightmare is Over. Links to the series of articles are located at the bottom of this posting.