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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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Rizvan Ullah

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

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“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

Reference

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