Google’s Changes – What Matters and What Doesn’t with Wil Reynolds

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Wil Reynolds held a session at Affiliate Summit East 2012 discussing Google’s recent changes (Panda, Penguin), how to diagnose the problem areas, and how to do real good. His session started with reflecting on the Keynote he gave last year.

Wil Reynolds speaking on Google's Changes
Wil Reynolds speaking on Google’s Changes

To diagnose if you were hit with Penguin, you need to get all of your links and look at the anchor text. If it’s the brand name or domain name, you’re OK. If it’s the keyword you told your SEO you want to rank for, you’re in trouble. You can get this data from Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools, Majestic SEO or SEOMoz’s Open Site Explorer. When using these tools, make sure to only look at external links. is another tool to use to find if the sites linking to you were removed from Google’s SERPs. Go into the SERPs Analysis, Daily Stats, Keywords. Enter the sites that are linking to you, not your own site. If they’re dropping, or have 0’d out, your rankings will go down. Do something to offset these crap links.

Stop trying to exploit temporary opportunities.

#RCS = Real Company Shit

Make someone’s life easier. Create value. Build community.

Google Search+ Your World – get people to add you to Google Circles. Rel author will increase CTR on SERPs, but only if the author is recognized. Become recognized by speaking, helping people, producing videos (my tip (well, tip I got from Get Noticed Fast): use the same avatar in Gravatar, Twitter, Google+ – everywhere.)

AuthorCrawler by Tom Anthony “examines the backlinks to a URL and crawls them looking for authorship markup… You’ll end up with a report allowing you to sort your backlinks by the social standing of the authors of those links.”

Easy Guest Post Opportunities

  1. Grab all of your follower URLs from Twitter with FollowerWonk, now part of SEOMoz
  2. Look at who’s commenting on your blog posts
  3. Add these URLs to this Google Doc and see if they’re accepting “guest post”s.

Content Opportunities

First, turn off Google Instant. Then, search for questions: “how much should”, “how do I”, etc. Build the assets that other’s won’t. Then tell everyone.
Turn Off Google Instant

Use to “Find people asking questions about things you know.”

Twitter’s advanced search has a “Questions” checkbox.

Enter the keyword that you’re an expert on and help people. Or Twitter-stalk someone by setting the from:@twitterhandle, keyword is city name. Then, set-up If This Then That to get a text when that person asks a question about the city.

ifttt Twitter Search to SMS
ifttt Twitter Search to SMS - I'm now stalking you, Wil

What’s the downside? Nothing. You’ll build more relationships, and connect with more people.

SEER had a booth in the Exhibit Hall, where they were giving free advice on SEO, analytics, PPC – all things Internet marketing. I took advantage of this opportunity and had Saurav Rimal look at one of my sites, and he gave me the bad news that I’m doing everything right 🙂 I did get one bit of advice that I plan on implementing shortly. Everyone from the SEER team that I met were great, and have me contemplating making the 7-hour drive from Buffalo to Philly for upcoming Search Church events.

  • Kaan
    Posted October 24, 2012 7:39 am 0Likes

    Thank you for your post. We’ve also built our site just a week ago and it’s really hard to determine how to create backlinks in harmony with the Penguin.

  • dale
    Posted October 29, 2012 11:02 am 0Likes

    great stuff, i had a few of my sites banned over the last couple of years, some were reinstated others were not.. But thanks so much for this post and the listing of the tools you listed and methods for getting to the heart of this matter.

  • Dan
    Posted February 27, 2013 12:25 pm 0Likes

    Thanks for the summary of the conference. I just listened to a podcast interview you were in on — I wanted to ask you what you think the future holds for affiliate marketers. I wrote a blog post on my site with my opinion ( — I respect your work a lot and would love to hear your response. Thanks again!


  • Dan
    Posted February 27, 2013 1:14 pm 0Likes

    Eric I liked your (or Wil’s?) suggestion about the Twitter questions so much that I wrote a blog post about it ( and am going to try it out. Will let you know how it goes. Have you had any great experiences doing this?

    • Eric Nagel
      Posted March 2, 2013 3:53 pm 0Likes

      Hi Dan – that’s Wil’s suggestion, I just recapped it in my post.

      I haven’t gone to that extreme, but I do monitor keywords for people looking to buy. I have directly tied sales to Twitter outreach – just don’t be too pushy.

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