There's an old joke that goes something like "99% of lawyers give the other 1% a bad name." You chuckle, but you know it's true. And that's not all - it's become something of a running gag in the SEO industry too. For years, SEOs have been beating the backlinks drum and small business owners have been marched off an optimized cliff. After Panda, a lot of the old backlink strategies just up and died. Article directories withered away into obscurity, and link networks were (and continue to be) crushed by Google.
Anchor Text Isn't That Important
SEO firms (and their clients) got a major wake-up call when Google dropped this bombshell on its Inside Search Blog in 2011:
Better page titles in search results by de-duplicating boilerplate anchors: We look at a number of signals when generating a page’s title. One signal is the anchor text in links pointing to the page. We found that boilerplate links with duplicated anchor text are not as...
The Google Penguin update penalizes websites that misuse SEO. Examples of these so-called black hat SEO techniques are using unnatural links and stuffing web pages with keywords. These are both techniques that were designed to mislead Google and to boast website ranking in an unnatural way.
While at first glance Google Penguin seems like the perfect update for promoting white hat SEO by encouraging website owners to stick to the rules, these updates have an unexpected downside. SEO experts are calling this downside negative SEO. Negative SEO is the application of black hat SEO to affect the website ranking of a competitor's website!
Unnatural Links and Black Hat SEO
Unnatural links are an extremely useful commodity for the application of negative SEO. Whereas with black hat SEO website owners had to buy links for their own website, now they can buy links for competitors' sites. Doing this will increase the chance that a...
It’s been about a week since Google released its “Penguin Update”, but the web is still buzzing loudly about it. For the uninitiated, Penguin is a new search algorithm that aims to combat webspam in SERPs. This is one of Google’s biggest updates since Panda back in February 2011, and it is supposed affect 3% of queries.
What is Penguin all about?
Google’s Penguin update targets websites that implement “black hat” SEO tactics such as “cloaking” or “keyword stuffing” to get ahead in search results. Google wants to reward webmasters who come up great sites, while making sure that webspam gets buried in search results. According to the search giant’s official blog post:
The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines. We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this algorithm...
Most webmasters and SEO experts want to get higher rankings for their websites (or their client's websites). To do that, they have to know how to get sandboxed by Google so that they can avoid being sucked down into a search engine black hole.
The best way to get banned from Google is to buy links. It's amazing that companies like TextLinkBrokers still exist. This company tells you to put code on your website to automate the link buying process. Their code will automatically insert links into your website's content and keep track of where those links are.
That's just a dumb idea for any number of reasons. The most obvious being that Google can easily detect paid links this way, and you set yourself up to be pounded by the algorithm once you're found out. The company defends its position by saying that "well, everyone does it." That's not a great defense.
Companies like J.C. Penny have been taken down...
The business of Search Engine Optimization is huge. There's not a single day that goes by that an SEO firm tries to entice customers into taking unnecessary risks. How so? Well, many, but not all, SEO firms sell their clients worthless services and spread myths that don't help the client at all. At best, they result in the client wasting money. At worst, they actually hurt search engine rankings for the client.
How do SEO firms pull off a stunt like this? Simple, they rely on the client being ignorant. Between Google's Matt Cutts, and several reputable SEO companies and experts, there are many myths that are now dying a horrible and much deserved death. Here are 10 that you should be aware of:
Myth #1 - "Our firm is endorsed by Google."
Some SEO firms will lure you in by saying that they are associated with Google, affiliated with Google, approved by Google, or that they are somehow endorsed by Google. Other firms are a...
In April 2011 Google's Panda update gave a huge boost to bloggers and webmasters who rely on content rather than code for their traffic. Google now penalizes websites with thin or duplicate content by dropping them down its search rankings. After Panda all the SEO tricks in the world can't compensate for poor content.
Google wants happy users who find interesting, trustworthy websites every time they use its search. It has declared war on regurgitated, paraphrased and stolen content. Websites with shallow, uninteresting text that is only there to contain keywords are dropping out of the charts faster than disco records in 1979. Having unique content is no longer enough. Your text now has to be both original and engaging.
Google based its Panda update on the results of tests where people rated the value and trustworthiness of thousands of websites. It discovered that websites with well-written, original text and few adverts...
Intense battles as being waged daily in the coliseum of Google search results. Web designers are constantly tweaking their websites in the hope of achieving ranking success. If you are a site owner or designer attempting to gain ground and perhaps surpass your competition, here are six rules to climb to a better ranking.
1. Design your site with the user in mind.
Every updated search algorithm from Google makes it more and more important for your site to offer easily-accessible content of value to the user. Can your users find what they are seeking? Is there enough quality content available to cause them to spend time on your site? Do your site's pages load quickly? Is visiting your website a positive experience for users, or will they quickly become frustrated and click the "back" button? Make your site as simple, user-friendly, and useful as you can in order to keep visitors and improve your placement in the search...