Google Takes Another Shot at Suspect SEO

Google have often stated (Google SEO guidelines video) that they have no problem with SEO. The issue they have is with webmasters, site owners and SEOs who try to gain an unfair advantage using ‘black hat’ techniques, or what Google refer to as ‘webspam’.

Webspam example

Click to see full size

Yesterday, Matt Cutts of Google published a post in which he outlines again some of the benefits a good SEO can bring as well as some of the webspam tactics Google are ramping up their efforts to try and combat against.

In terms of some benefits of using a professional SEO, these can include:

  1. Help improve usability of site
  2. Help create good content
  3. Help improve site performance
  4. Help with the marketing message of the site

Some of the webspam they are constantly trying to beat include:

  1. Keyword stuffing
    –> Overuse of the phrase someone is trying to rank for
  2. Link schemes
    –> Trying to gain an advantage with link trickery

Google are rolling out changes to their search results algorithms all the time but this announcement makes it clear that more major updates are coming. From some of the rumblings on the Internet, this may well be happening so expect search results to fluctuate.

They stress again that site owners need to concentrate their efforts on creating good quality websites with unique, valuable content.

You may decide that you can outsource every aspects of your site’s SEO but I believe that the days of simply handing the reigns over to someone else and expecting them to get fantastic results just on the back of some dodgy link tactics are, if not long gone, rapidly on the decline.

You, as the site owner, need to take responsibility. It may be that you need help with some technical aspects of your site and an SEO could be the ideal fit. Or it may be you just need some help with creating content for your site. Again, perhaps you’ll turn to outside help to get this but don’t think you can just take a back seat and wait for the magic to happen.

There are some good individuals and companies out there offering professional search engine optimisation. Not everyone involved in the SEO industry is egocentric with more interest in buying fake awards than helping you. Take the time to speak with them and see if they are a good fit for you and your business.

To re-cap:

  • Use Google Webmaster tools to find out how your site is performing
    • Improve its speed and overall performance
  • Use analytics to understand how your visitors engage with your site
  • Add valuable, unique content to your site
  • Engage naturally with your community
    • Help and assist
  • Use experts to help with specific tasks
    • Outsource where necessary
  • If you see a short-term surge in links to your site the moment you commence with an SEO company, ask how these people have worked such miracles?
    • Can they also turn water in to wine?
  • Run away as fast as you can from any muppet* claiming to guarantee you top spot in Google

Read the full article from Google here: Another Step to Rewarding High Quality Sites

*Disclaimer for the American market: This post has not been endorsed by The Muppets nor is it in any way associated with them.

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May 2012 Update

Just some of the many posts on this topic:

http://searchengineland.com/winners-losers-from-googles-webspam-update-119493

http://www.webpronews.com/google-webspam-algorithm-update-draws-mixed-reviews-from-users-2012-04

http://blog.seorevolution.com/2012/04/26/getting-your-ass-kicked-by-google-you-arent-alone/

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Roland Hedges - a couple of years ago

This is about time. It is good that Matt Cutts is coming out with this info. I heard a few weeks ago that some of the big private blog networks had been hit as well. Great article Adrian.

As a result a lot of companies that loose ranking will be driving up their PPC activity to compensate, certainly in the short term – will this mean a hike in the CPC? lets hope not!

Reply
    Adrian - a couple of years ago

    Thanks Roland. The clues are certainly out there!

    In terms of PPC costs, I think they’ll continue to rise regardless of what’s happening on the SEO front. Google have the market and can therefore let price inflation carry on. It will continue getting harder for smaller companies to compete but hopefully there are still plenty of opportunities if done right.

    Reply

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