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The Digital Baggage Dilemma

  • Have you been in business for at least 3-4 years?
  • Have you enjoyed high placement in the Search Engines for the past few years, possibly even the last  decade?
  • But now you’ve noticed a drop in your Search Engine Placement?

It very well may be your business’s Digital Baggage causing your placement issues.

In the past decade, many SEM (Search Engine Marketing) strategies worked quite well for gaining high placement. Strategies that Google not only evaluated as part of their algorithms, but in some cases actually recommended.

If you’ve been in business for while now, I’m sure some of these will ring a bell…

  • Duplicate Content
  • Reciprocal Links
  • 3 Way Links
  • Partner Pages
  • Links Pages
  • High Keyword Density
  • Targeted Anchor Text
  • Blogging with Text from other Sites
  • And the List Goes On…

The trend we are currently seeing is that some Innkeepers that have been page 1 Letter A for the past decade (and enjoying the revenue of that placement for the last decade, I might add) are now slipping to a lower placement, sometimes even page 2 or 3.

And that begs the question WHY?

We’ve seen Google become very, very strict on many topics such as: inbound links, anchor text and duplicate content. And as the Google algorithms become more particular about these and other SEM strategies, we see Innkeepers who’ve used these past strategies do phenomenally well in the past, not do as well in the past few months.

So what’s the SOLUTION?

From following Google’s twists and turns during the last decade, we have seen them move in the consistent direction of Authority. Is your Web presence considered an Authority online? To begin evaluating the Authority of your online presence, we suggest you start by documenting your…

Online History

  • Have you ever paid a company in the past, to promote your web site that may have bought or secured low quality links to your Web site or Blog?
  • Have you ever paid a company in the past that created 3 way links for your site?
  • Have you traded an over abundance of links in the past?
  • Do you have any old “Partner Link Pages” that were used for placement in the past?
  • Does your Web site have an old link(s) page?
  • Did you ever have multiple URLS pointing to your site without a 301 redirect?
  • Did your Web site or Blog ever get attacked by a hacker virus? Where the site might have resulted in the Google “This site may be dangerous” error.
  • Did you, or your predecessors, ever change the Name of the Inn?
  • Did you, or your predecessors, ever change your URL (web site address)?
  • Did you, or your predecessors, ever change your Physical Address?
  • Did you, or your predecessors, ever change your Local or Toll Free Phone Number?
  • Are you aware of any unresolved Online NAP + W issues? (Name, Address, Phone + Website)
  • Did you ever buy another Inn’s identity and point it to yours?
  • Did you (or your Webmaster) ever copy text from another site and place it on yours?
  • Do you have multiple Blogs for your Business?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, and you've seen a drop in your placement compared to your placement of years past, we suggest you consider one of the following options.

Option 1) Register and Attend our Club 60 Webinar this week.  We are going to teach you how to comb through all the following items listed below that can affect your Online Presence and Authority. You must be a paid Acorn University Member to attend. Questions? Call Annie Buck at 877-226-7699. Update - this class has now passed, but you can still become an Acorn U Member to see the recorded version

Option 2) Consider investing in a SEPPIR (Search Engine Placement Problem Identification Report) to identify the following items that influence Authority and ultimately Placement. [More]

Google Results

It is important to count and review the total number of Web and Blog Pages. This will give an idea of the scope of the work needing to be done when it comes to checking for duplicate content. It also helps identify any issues based on pages being indexed that perhaps could lead to other issues with placement.

Blog Setup and Syndication

An Innkeeper’s Blog is a great way to get your message out there, be found and increase bookings, but it’s also an online opportunity that can cause issues with your Web site placement. Blogs that have duplicate content, plagiarized content, repetitive content, contrived anchor texts links, or are fed via syndication using the entire post’s content can work against your placement.

Duplicate Content

Google is clear that they want unique and original content for your site to be considered an authority for placement. When a majority of your content appears duplicated on two or more sites, Google is unable to determine who the owner is without signals to that ownership. IE: Snippets with Citation links. So it’s important to avoid duplicate content for highest authority in placement. Whether it’s you taking someone else’s written text (plagiarism), or them taking yours (typically scraping and/or plagiarism).

Inbound Links

Google uses links coming FROM another site TO your Website to help them ascertain a portion of your Website Authority. When you have an over abundance of Non-Quality Links, such as links from inappropriate (pornography, etc) sites, from low ranking sites that have nothing to do with your Inn, from link farms or purchased links, or too many contrived inbound anchor text or image links, it can lower your Authority and thus your placement.

Broken Links

Broken Links are links within your Website or Blog that link to other sites or pages within your own Website or Blog that don’t work. Broken links do not help you with your Authority level, and should be fixed.


NAP + W (Name, Address, Phone + Web site) are the basic elements of a typical citation that can be found online. These citations are found in a variety of places, but mainly are associated to LBL (Local Business Listings). Your NAP + W must MATCH exactly everywhere online to create the highest possible Website authority for your business.

MapMaker and Google + Local Claimed

This tool was initially released for identifying College Campuses and Unmarked Roads, but today has turned into something altogether different. Google has their own bots (robots) scanning the web and making suggestions about your Google + Local listing along with anyone else who feels like they want to make a suggestion on your listing. They must be logged in so their profile will be indicated with every recommended change. Bottom Line: Your Google + Listing must be verified, and it must be reviewed for ongoing changes being made with Google Map Maker to prevent any erroneous content from making it’s way to your Google + Local Listing.

Webmaster Tools Issues

Webmaster Tools is a free product provided by Google that is installed on your Website or Blog to help Google tell you when you have a problem with your web presence. It’s an issue diagnosis tool.

Final Note: If you are currently working on an SEO or New Design Project with us, please watch for contact from your Project Manager regarding the SEPPIR report and how it will help us improve your placement.

Lisa Kolb
President and Co-Founder
Acorn Internet Services, Inc.

SEPPIR Report Fine Print
- The SEPPIR (Search Engine Placement Problem Identification Report) is intended to identify “Digital Baggage” that may be having a negative impact on your Search Engine Placement.
- This report is intended to only IDENTIFY those areas of concern.
- Once potential problems with your site placement have been identified, an Action Plan to resolve those issues will need to be created and executed properly before any hope of improvement can be expected to be seen in placement.
- Who executes the Action Plan can be decided at the time of the review call that accompanies this report. Innkeepers who have time, are quite successful in executing most actions needed to repair placement, but should you prefer, our team can also do this work for you.
- It is important to realize that placement issue correction (Action Plan) can take a few hours, all the way to hundreds of hours to complete, depending on the amount of issues that need to be resolved. This does not include the time it takes Google to realize you have made the changes and are now waiting for them to adjust your placement.

3 thoughts on “The Digital Baggage Dilemma

  1. Great information in light of the recent changes Google has made and continues to make all to regularly. I can not wait for Club 60 this month. I’m very anxious to be able to get some of our issues fixed and or worked on.
    Thank you so much for all the help.

  2. Pingback: Fairytales and the Reality of your Financial Fence

  3. Pingback: Will Google Sink your SEO Battleship?

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