Some of this might be old news to some of you. However, I feel that this will help a lot of you gain your rankings back. Instead of bitching & whining about the recent update, I went ahead and decided to do some research. I contacted every guru I know in the industry that where trusted and respected. I have also visited several of the top informative websites with recent blog posts on this subject. I have also done some reverse engineering to see why people are ranking on the top after the change. I figured with all this, it would give me enough concrete information on how to proceed. So... Here are a few tips that I think will help you all out moving forward. #1. Spammy links are getting discounted. It's just that simple. No more AMR blasts, Scrapebook blasts, SeNuke blasts (with out tier 2/3 linking) or Xrumer blasts. Any link without authority is simply hurting your website. #2. Anchor text - This is extremely important. Make sure you are using several anchor texts. No more "exact phrase" anchors only. If you have a one keyword website, make at least 5-10 variations of the keyword. You should also be using "click here" "website here" type anchor texts. Also, this is the biggest pointer on this subject. Google bots are not looking for words or phrases directly before & after your anchors. For instance, let's say you are trying to rank for "baseball cards". When you are not using that exact anchor phrase, make sure to put that directly before or after your anchor. If you are using the anchor "click here" it would look something like this (If you would like to get information on the best baseball cards "click here"). Google with associate your anchor with the word directly before and after the anchor. #3. Take away any ads above the fold. Google is paying attention to adsense ads that are placed directly below the header, or at the top of your main content. Start placing ads below the fold. I know it's not as effective, but your rankings will start to improve. #4. Blog networks - We all know they got hit hard. They will continue to be hit if you are not using a good network. I would only use private networks until the dust settles. It's funny because I have 3 websites where I'm only using blog networks, all of these sites have gone up in PR. However, I have dropped off in all of my rankings. #5. Homepage Links - Some people will tell me otherwise. But, I have seen enough now to say that they are still very effective. After doing lots of research on my competition, I have noticed that the websites with high PR paid homepage links are ranking very well. So as far as I'm concerned, they still work. I will say that they are relative homepage links though. #6. Keyword URL's - I have read that they are no longer effective. Yeah right! Go look at any niche, especially the ones I'm going after. These websites with the keyword in the URL are ranking higher than ever. If Google is doing what they said, then how could they discount this. The website is designed around one subject, that's what they are looking for (relative content). Websites (if not an authority) that are trying to rank for keywords that are not 100% relative on your sub-pages, are having a much more difficult time. So if your trying to rank for "baseball cards" and you have designed a sub-page about "football cards" it's much harder to rank these days. I would suggest making an entire website dedicated to "football cards" instead. Paid Directories - I have noticed the websites ranking are using paid directories. I feel that they are back in a major way. I wouldn't go blasting your website to shitty directories, but they are working from what I have seen. Link Exchanges - Don't waste your time... They have not worked for years, nothing has changed on this subject. Social Marketing - Ok... This one is tough for me. Everyone I have spoke with tells me that it's vital to have Facebook, Google + & Twitter. They say that Google looks at this more than ever. I would say I'm on the fence. I have seen many websites in a few of my niches that owned their keyword for many years, that are using social marketing as a major traffic source get completely creamed with the new update. I have fan pages on many of my websites where my rankings took a big hit. I have also included Google+ and Twitter on a few websites where I have increased my rankings big-time. I would say, it's not going to hurt you, but it's not the be all end all. SEO is a crazy game. Everyone (including me) has an opinion. In many cases it's just fluff. You need to take this, and many other opinions with a grain of salt. However, I feel strongly about my opinions.