If you have been following the news recently, professional hiring service Thumbtack has its reputation tested after Google sent an email singling out the company for subverting link building guidelines.
And of course, the charge has considerable impact over the site’s lead generation efforts.
What led to this is the SEO strategy Thumbtack employed to rank high in the search pages. Users were asked to link their Thumbtack profiles to their own websites in return for progress points that allow them better visibility in the site’s search engine.
For Google, this is a case of using unnatural links. It has made it clear that “buying links or participating in link schemes in order to manipulate PageRank is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.” Until Thumbtack manages to implement the manual actions prescribed by Google, it will continue to suffer “a huge decline in Google referrals,ultimately impacting the leads that professionals in their network are receiving.”
Thumbtack President Jonathan Swanson has noted the company is currently working to reverse the penalty and get its SEO campaign back on track.
Thumbtack’s strategy was no doubt a clever means for directing traffic. But this issue certainly points to two important things about search marketing:
1). Google takes link-building seriously on account of its desire to make the web an equal playing field for big and small brands, and
2). if you opt to secure your brand’s reputation as well as its ability to generate new leads, you will have to play by its rules.
While Thumbtack has made the wise decision to act on Google’s manual remedies (in fact, it has already asked its users to delete or simply add a no follow tag on the links), it is important for other businesses to make sure the SEO tactics they use are legitimate – and of course, effective.
Use LinkedIn status updates.
Regularly updating your brand’s status updates will certainly increase your chances of getting found by the right people. The best part about it is it’s entirely legal. Though, you will have to make sure your statuses are fashioned with relevant and engaging information.
Use Twitter lists.
More than just a social media tool, Twitter provides businesses with numerous opportunities to build links and also gain access to influencers.
Bonus tips: HOW TO: Use Twitter Lists
Get help from authority sites.
You can’t rely on content alone for traffic. At times, you may want to utilize directories enabling a good boost in authority. In his article for B2BMarketing.net, ROI Digital Marketing Director Mik Dunne says, Links from these authority domains will help to increase the authority of your domain and may also send referral traffic and leads to your site.”