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Erik Freeman: Online Marketing Blog -

12 Steps to Site Ranking Recovery

by Erik Freeman on July 10, 2014


Had the fine idea to use the 12 Step program model to describe the current search landscape but of course it’s already been done. I’ve decided to post it anyway.

  1. We admitted we were powerless over Google—that our site had become unrankable.
  2. Came to believe that an SEO greater than ourselves could restore us to our former ranking.
  3. Made a decision to turn our website and our analytics over to the care of our SEO as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of our back link profile.
  5. Admitted to our SEO, to ourselves, and to Google the exact nature of our spam tactics.
  6. Were entirely ready to have our SEO remove all these defects from our site.
  7. Humbly asked Google to remove our penalty.
  8. Made a list of all sites we had bought links from, and became willing to to have them taken down
  9. Made direct outreach to such sites wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take content and linking inventory, and when we were over-optimized, promptly corrected it.
  11. Sought through Social Media and Content Development to improve our authority with Users as we understood Them, paying only for knowledge of their will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a traffic improvement as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other site owners and to practice these principles in all our online affairs.



In an interview with LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, he describes the unique behavior of users on the LinkedIn platform.

“If you share something that’s not professionally oriented, on LinkedIn you’re not going to get any engagement, and the feedback you get may not be very positive. It’s not the right forum for that, and your professional identity is tied to it. You’re going to be very thoughtful about a comment that appears next to your image and your name and your title and your company. … Is what I’m sharing a consistent extension of who I am professionally? Is this going to add value, or is it going to muddy up the feed?”

I would go one step further to suggest that this type of behavior should mirror the way you conduct yourself everywhere online. People have a tendency to wait until they get to the edge of a precipice before turning around. The unfortunate reality online, however, is that everything is for keeps. Nothing is private. Your data doesn’t go away. We all know this, yet the majority of people still behave online as though they have a modicum of privacy and they expect to be forgiven their trespasses.

When all is said and done, I think we’re all going to find that our online personas are really our personal brands. Everything we’ve ever put on the Internet will be there for the taking. Analyses will continue to evolve, allowing others to begin to predict our behaviors based on our friends, our likes and proclivities. There will be a judgment. Will the final analysis be one that you thoughtfully crafted, or will it rather be composed of a hodgepodge of emotional outbursts, questionable statements and cat pictures?

When people post on LinkedIn, they generally consider the fact that their boss, colleagues and future employers might see what they’ve posted. They dot their I’s and cross their T’s. LinkedIn isn’t a place where you air your dirty laundry—and I would like to put forward that Facebook, Twitter or any other place online isn’t either.

The Internet should be a place to build your personal brand and your authority. Take your lead from Jeff Weiner, and before you put anything online, ask yourself if what you’re sharing is a consistent extension of who you are professionally and whether or not you’re going to add value or muddy up the feed. When on the Internet, do as those LinkedIn do.


10 Steps to Begin Building Online Authority

June 2, 2014

In the early days of the web, there just wasn’t a lot of competition. For example, a real estate site could do some keyword research, find the most readily searched terms and crank out page after page optimized around that single keyword phrase. Homes in California, Homes in Nevada, Homes in Arizona, etc. The content […]

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