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Some Things you Need to Know About Google Penguin

Some Things you Need to Know About Google Penguin

If you’re an online marketer, it’s important you know about Google updates as they take place. The updates will transform your entire marketing campaign, changing the way you build links, write content, and network with other bloggers. However, for you to make real changes to your campaign, you need to understand some of the finer points of each update. For example, the recent Google Penguin update has brought a lot of changes helping some while destroying others. I’ll explain what you can expect from Google Penguin and how you can protect yourself.

Aimed at Link Manipulation

Google has introduced Penguin twice in 2016, and both updates have been aimed at stopping link manipulation. Some bloggers have been using tools to create ordinary-looking links which creates an unfair playing field. Google is working hard to detect unprotected links so that they can adjust the rankings accordingly. One way they are doing this is by digging even deeper to find the source of the link and its value. By digging deeper, Google will be able to find where the links are coming from and other links that may be attached to them. Unprotected links have a very poor profile which can be traced.

To protect yourself, you should focus on getting only secure links which are relevant and full of authority. We’ll explore both these points later on.

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Continuous Penalties

Whenever there has been a previous update, Google would penalize a lot of sites, then stop until the next update. However, Penguin is aimed at continuously penalizing so that no site can get away with manipulation. Many times manipulators would survive the update and continue to build unsecure links. However, with continuous small updates these manipulators don’t stand a chance.

The way to protect yourself from continuous penalties is to ensure you follow all the link-building rules from the beginning.

Higher Emphasis on Relevance

There has never been more of an emphasis on relevance than in 2016. This change is because of the user search pattern and what people are typing into Google. The search pattern has shifted from one keyword to phrases consisting of two to three keywords. This means that Google needs to ensure that websites are optimized so that they continue to provide people with higher value. The Penguin update will pay closer attention to the relevance of sites linking to yours because this will determine what your site is about more than before. For example, if you have a cooking website, then a link from an automotive website will hold no value.

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For you to keep increasing rankings, you should focus on building relevant links or networking with other relevant bloggers.

Authority

You’ll get more benefit from one authority website compared to ten low-quality sites. The reason is very simple because authority matters to Google. If more high authority websites link to yours, it shows Google that you have something great to offer. You can increase the likelihood of higher authority sites linking to yours by providing great content. You need to write content which solves a common problem in your niche and that people will love to share. When your content is shared, it will increase the likelihood of getting authority links back to your page.

Focus on networking with high authority websites and writing awesome content. The more value provided within your content, the higher number of social shares you’ll receive. This will get your content in front of the right people, increasing authority link backs to your page.

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Diversity

Above I talked about how the user search pattern is changing to lengthier keywords. To help meet user search requirements, it’s important that you focus on latent semantic indexing (related) words, and long-tail keywords (with two to three keywords). The focus should be to create a diverse portfolio of keywords in your content before you publish. The ratio is anywhere from 2%-3% which shouldn’t be a problem if your content is 2,000-2,500 words. Writing content this long is a norm now that higher-quality content ranks higher than others. Here’s a blueprint to follow:

  • Target (main keyword i.e tests)
  • Phrase (online marketing tests)
  • URL (your website – www.careercrawlers.com)
  • Branded (just the name of your website)

Head over to the Google Keyword Planner tool to conduct research. Gather target, LSI, and long-tail keywords to incorporate into your content.

Final Thoughts

Google will continue to introduce updates to better their search interface. You have to understand that Google’s main business model is to provide people with the best search experience. They’ll do whatever needs to be done to make sure the user search pattern is not jeopardized. Check out our Google Penguin 4.0 Infographic to learn more about the recent changes in their algorithm.

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Featured photo credit: searchengineland.com via searchengineland.com

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Last Updated on June 18, 2019

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common leadership styles and how you can determine which works best for you.

5 Types of Leadership Styles

I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

The Democratic Style

The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

    The Autocratic Style

    The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

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    The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

    While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

      The Transformational Style

      Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

      Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

      Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

        The Transactional Style

        Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

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        The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

        The Laissez-Faire Style

        The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

        In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

        Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

        You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

        Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

        The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

        Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

        I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

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        In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

        What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

        Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

        1. Context Matters

        Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

        2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

        When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

        As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

        “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

        The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

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        As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

        When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

        The Way Forward

        To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

        As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

        “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

        The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

        If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

        Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

        Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

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        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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