by Mark Hayes

Each week, millions of viewers tune into AMC’s “The Walking Dead” to witness the trusty band of characters navigate their way through the zombie apocalypse. And each week, millions of marketers face their own version of these trials in the form of SEO.

From algorithm updates to dead links being revived and tanking rankings, the terrain of SEO is comparable to “The Walking Dead.” Let’s find out the reasons why.

Google Algorithm Updates Warrant Survival Skills

When Google released their Google Panda and Google Penguin algorithm updates in 2011 and 2012, it sent the marketing world into survival mode.

The goal behind these updates was to rid the web of bad content and promote white hat SEO tactics. In the past five years, Google has focused on providing its users with the best content.

This mean that grey and black hat SEO tactics, commonly used before the updates, meant death for thousands of websites. The Panda update primarily wiped content farms from the web, and Penguin pruned those sites even further.

What did this mean for marketers? If your website previously used dirty SEO tactics, these updates warranted a lot of clean up – not unlike the work Rick Grimes and his crew of walker fighters.

But instead of crossbows and knives, a Google disavow went a long way in showing commitment to fighting bad SEO.

Google Webmaster Tools allows site owners to submit a list of sites linking to your content and disavow them, meaning they won’t be counted toward your overall rankings.

This process involves checking all of the domains linking to your site, separating the good from the bad and sending the file to Google for review.

Submitting a disavow and practicing clean SEO moving forward is a solid way to combat further attacks on your site and improve your rankings.

Dead Content and Links Can Always Resurface

When one of our brave heroes on “The Walking Dead” bites the dust, there is always the chance that they will rise again.

The same is true for links and content.

Local SEO is a major ranking factor for businesses. In fact, reports that on-page signals and link signals are the biggest factors in overall SEO ranking for Google.

So what happens if bad links keep popping up?

One good link can do a lot for a business’s SEO, but the same is true of a bad one. Thankfully, there are ways to combat these bad links from affecting your business page, including:

  • Ensuring NAP (name, address, phone number) consistency on all platforms
  • Making sure data aggregators have consistent business information
  • Disavowing bad links from bad sites with Google

This is a good start for anyone looking to put down zombie content and rise back to the top of Google’s food chain.

SEO Has No Cure

The process of making sure your site is found consistently is never-ending. You may receive a high ranking one month, but then be off the map the next.

“The Walking Dead” crew marched for months to find the Center for Disease Control office and get the cure for the zombie disease.

However, when they got there, no quick fix was in sight. Google will continue to release new algorithm updates to further tailor content to its users. And business owners and marketing teams alike will have to fight back to see who comes out on top.

While the wild world of SEO may seem calmer than the zombie-fied Atlanta featured in “The Walking Dead,” the challenges can be just as tough.

The good news is that the heroes always win and keep fighting. Practice good SEO tactics, and you’re bound to make it to the “safe zone” sooner than the competition.

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