This summer Google started rolling out its new way of thinking. It hit some online businesses hard while others will not have noticed a thing … for now. The industry Google was taking to task was pharmaceuticals and medication in general. Where Google had once in the past seen links from quality sites to yours as a reason why you should rank highly in the search results it now wants to see extra authority.
First came the likes of SEO Nuke, massive link building operations that worked for a while before they (and the sites that used them) were sent to oblivion by Google penalties and algorithm updates. Then came article sites, article spinners, link wheels and networks such as MyBlogGuest. Once again those who used them benefited for a while until, once again, Google caught up with their systems and devastating consequences were felt by those who had believed them to be ‘safe’.
Bloggers changed the way we received information about the world and felt like a breath of fresh air compared to old style journalists pushing the agendas of whoever owned their news outlet. But power brings corruption and that’s where many bloggers have fallen … giving Google a headache.
It wasn’t that long ago that you could get dozens of articles written for less than the price of a meal out. Software like Traffic Paymaster would spin and spin your words at the click of a mouse. But what is created by machines can be spotted by machines and Google successfully bought the practice to an end. Into its place jumped ‘human written’ article writing services that cost a bit more but offered a safer route to keep under Google’s radar. But does it actually make any SEO sense?
I came across this in my unpublished blog posts and thought it was a good reminder about how the SEO community sometimes reacts with hysteria to Google’s actions but when the dust dies there really isn’t any meat in the frantic responses. The story surrounds a Google ban of Doc Sheldon’s blog (Doc Sheldon being one of the more respected people in the SEO world) earlier this year.
March 2014 was a seismic month with at least two well known names in the world of search engine optimisation being hit by Google penalties. So who can you trust to do your SEO? The whirlwind really began when rumour started to speculate that Ann Smarty’s MyBlogGuest website had been removed from Google’s index. In reality it had just been ranked to lower in the search results but that’s academic really. It was out. For my opinion on why see the post Why Google banned MyBlogGuest.
Well Google has rolled out another update of it’s Penguin Algorithm aimed at websites who have been ranking high due to poor quality links from spammy type sites (link farms, content farms, etc.). My mailbox has been buzzing with people who have seen their traffic plummet since the weekend and as this algorithm is still rolling out there may be more to come.
I’ve written before about the way websites can rank, and rank well, with no backlinks at all in my post SEO: Building backlinks doesn’t work (and that was going back nearly two years!). I did make the point there that backlinks do have their place but this does now need some clarification.
There is a common misconception that, if you practice SEO, you need to get on forums so that you can create links (usually in the signature line that shows below each post) because SEO is all about link building. The truth is that in terms of link building those shown on forums have a very small significance but they can have a much greater value in another way.
Most now accept that the old idea of swapping links with other websites in an attempt to make search engines believe you were popular (because you had lots of lovely links) are over. In the world of SEO such activities are referred to as Reciprocal Links and you won’t find many search engine optimisers promoting the idea for at least the last 18 months.
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