Friday, October 5th, Google released an update to the infamous Penguin algorithm.

For those of you who don’t remember (is that even possible?), Penguin was Google’s “anti-backlink” algorithm.

No, it didn’t defeat the purpose of building links entirely – backlinks will still give your site a boost in the rankings. But it did make link building MUCH more difficult. In fact, the only really reliable way of building links is a natural way – that is, write excellent content and give huge value to your visitors, then they’ll link back to you.

This is the third update to Penguin. And, as Google’s said before, Penguin isn’t meant to be the full-time algorithm – that’s Panda’s job. Penguin is meant to keep SEOs on the straight and narrow.

But there is some frustration growing in the SEO community. At first, it seemed like Google wanted to work with us. But now Google is slowly targeting each and every decent SEO strategy post-Panda. They’ve gone after article directories, link networks, backlinks in general, SEO content, exact-match domains, etc.

The key is to realize one major point: with search traffic, Google’s ALWAYS in charge. So all we can do—as SEO’s—is to use “New SEO” tactics to rank our websites. Doing this gives us the absolute best chances of avoiding Google penalties.

BUT, it also makes sense to diversify. Build a tribe. Make sure SEO isn’t your only source of business.

Because if it is, one day you might wake up to find your business is gone.

Google Local

This week, reports 43% of Google queries are locally based.

That’s a big deal. And it makes a whole lot of sense. Folks, if you didn’t already know, the days of the yellow pages are over. Dead. Gone. Forever.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but there are still local businesses that don’t have an active web presence. There are still local businesses that don’t understand the value of SEO. Yes, it shouldn’t be the ONLY way you get business. But it’s also far too big to ignore. Because if you’re not doing SEO, your competitors almost certainly are!

I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but the internet and the “real world” are merging together at an incredibly quick rate. The internet isn’t simply a part of your business. The internet is as much of your business as, well, your business is!

Customer Feedback

Lastly, I’d just like to touch on customer feedback. Because it seems like some businesses have forgotten – the customer is, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters! Every aspect of business revolves around the customer.

When you hear about businesses failing, they almost always have the same thing in common – they didn’t focus on the customer! Now, a minority of failed businesses do focus on the customer, but they have issues in execution.

But by and large, if you’re not making as much money as you’d like to be making, or if your business isn’t doing as well as you might have hoped, take a look at the customer. How much value are you giving to the customer? Are you really solving a massive issue or problem they have? 

Or are you just providing an alternative solution when there are already hundreds of solutions available?

Don’t strive to be marginally better than your competitors. Strive to innovate! Strive to create products and services that completely solve problems your customers don’t even know they have!

That was Steve Jobs’s motto: the customer doesn’t know what they want until you give it to them.

Be 10x better than anything else available. Make it a cut-and-dry decision for your customer. If they go with you, their life improves. Simply put.

Because at the end of the day, people don’t buy stuff for the purpose of having stuff. They buy stuff so they can be happier. So help them do that! Solve problems, offer solutions, think outside the box!

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