Google, Google, Google… what am I going to do with you? As most of you know, Google recently updated their Webmaster Guidelines, including a new page on why one should report paid links to Google. The new page included this snippet :
However, some SEOs and webmasters engage in the practice of buying and selling links, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites. Buying links in order to improve a site’s ranking is in violation of Google’s webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results.
So, one would expect Google to abide by their own rules and guidelines right? Well, as Scott from MarketingPilgrim points out, that’s not exactly the case. Apparently if you’d like a PR7 link from Google, it will cost you a mere $1,995. To make the offer even more appealing, they’ll throw in a Google Mini as well! Now that’s what I call a bargain.
Want to see a list of all the websites that are, along with Google of course, currently in violation of Google’s newly updated Webmaster Guidelines? No problem, Google’s provided it for you.
As if that weren’t enough, Google’s also breaking their own Design and Quality Guidelines. Hey, I mean if you’re gonna go, go all out right? As you can see, Google clearly states that “If the site map is larger than 100 or so links, you may want to break the site map into separate pages.” Now, I’m no mathematician, but even I know that page has more than 100 or so links.
So, will Google deindex themsevles? Will they remove all the offending sites that have been caught red handed? I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Posted in Google by Skitzzo
You hear it all the time on the net from some very good sources, but is Googles PR (Page Ranking) all that is made of it?
The reason I ask myself this question is, I know sites that have been at the top of Google, Yahoo, MSN search engines for the last 5 years and these sites only have a Google PR2 ranking, yet are on the first page for keywords and phrases that have over 40 million listed pages.
The content is good and relevant, the keywords are meaningful with the correct density and none have high ranking PR pages back linking pages to them, so what is the secret?
By the way, one of these sites gets over 5 million hits per year worldwide.
While it is a never ending job for seo experts trying to work out the Algorithms of the search engines, it just may be that if you write a good website, with good content that is releveant, with correct titles and descriptions, you just may get the spot you require.
Answers on a post card please
Andrew Goodman was recently interviewed by Pandia Search Engine News. One of the things I like about the interview is his discussion about a way that Google could lost it’s stranglehold on the search market. It occurs during his discussion of the increasing focus on personalization by Google.
As Andrew notes “Done right, it’s a natural extension of what search ought to be”. But, there are real potential issues with privacy concerns as well. If it’s not done right, it could create a groundswell of concern that could be really damaging. People may become afraid to search, because their search history will be stored.
And this certainly could be a scenario that could hurt Google with this new initiative. However, I think the likelihood is pretty low – it’s just not a mistake that I think Google will make.
One way to look at a potential Google downfall is to look at recent past history. How did Microsoft lost it’s clear leadership of the technology market? By making their existing products, which are still incredibly important, less relevant. The focus shifted to search, and Microsoft did not get out there with it’s offerings quickly enough.
This is exactly what happened to the railroad companies in the US about a century ago. There is an old business school lesson about this – the railroad companies should have thought of themselves as “transportation companies”. If the railroad companies had thought of themselves in that light, they would have taken an active hand in the automobile revolution that did them in.
It repeated itself in a different way a couple of decades ago when the Japanese car manufacturers were stealing huge amounts of market share in the US auto market because every one was so concerned about gas mileage. While they remain a strong factor in the market, they lost all of their forward momentum, and the US auto manufacturers revived and became strong again.
What happened there? There is another business school lesson that covers this one – if the competitive playing field is stacked against you, change the playing field (or the rules of the game).
With companies as dominant as Microsoft was, and Google now is, changing the landscape is not something you can do by yourself. You need to wait for shifts in technology to happen, and this is something that could really take quite some time to happen. In other words, don’t hold your breath. The challenge for Google will be to remain very nimble, see the broader landscape at all times, and keep the natural arrogance of a market leader in check.
If you are writing articles for the purpose of off page SEO it is time to consider just how swiftly Googles algorithm is changing over a short period off time. We don’t need to concern ourselves too much with the other search engines at this time. You will have heard many times that unique content is King, and it still is, but you must also consider that contextual relevance is now Queen.
The whole way of thinking behind article content is being changed. Semantics, overall page theme, phrase matching, (comparisons with millions of other similar pages in their index to see if phrases are relevant to the topic / theme), and even the use of buzz or niche words – eg woodworkers, surfers, stamp collectors or whatever all have their own specialised words and phrases which would mean nothing to the rest of us. This is just a part of what Google will use to determine how important and relevant your article actually is to them.
This ongoing war between the guys who find a chink in Googles armour and then write software to exploit it will never stop. This is human nature. The thing is that these guys pushing their “latest, most powerful” scripts and PC applications have a good job for life. There are always millions of people who are quick enough to snap up their $97 products if there is a hint they can get to #1 without doing any work.
They have customers for life. As soon as Google addresses an issue then another script is on the market and so the loop continues. The sad thing is that the buyers of these scripts are spending so much time trying to be “smart” they probably never actually build a business.
A similar problem exists with the use of Private Label Rights articles. There is little wrong in principal with using PLR properly, they can give you some great ideas to get started, but the vast majority of users who have downloaded 1000 articles either free or for next to no cost simply load them up and fire them out onto the Net without even looking at them! This, together with spinning software is the cause for the incredible amount of useless and senseless junk on the Internet that Google is determined to deal with. And rightly so.
There is no doubt that the duplicate content issue is presently a huge cause for concern for Google. We all know that there was never any penalty imposed by Google for Duplicates. They simply ignored them. Weight being given to the oldest most relevant content.
It is unlikely that we shall see any penalty against duplicate content as it is quite reasonable to expect more than one version of an article on different websites. What we may see is penalties against what Google determines to be spun, low quality content with no relevance. I will not speculate on these penalties but we may have an issue on exactly what is determined to be sub standard content.
It would seem that the days of us “leading” Google into what our content is all about through the use of titles, keyword density, file names and so on is coming to end. Once the programming is in place it may well be that all we have to do is to write naturally with a certain amount of passion about a theme we have an interest in or have researched well. MMmmmm! Didn’t we use to do this before search engines and algorithms and programmers came on the scene?
Ever since Google introduced their page ranks(PR), web site traffic rankings, took on a whole new dimension. Today, page ranks is a much talked about subject and a very important factor in your web site traffic ranking. Although your traffic ranking is only relevant with the Google search engine, it is important to realize that many of the smaller search engines draw their ‘relevance’ from Google – meaning that a high web site traffic ranking with Google will most certainly benefit you on the other search engines. Search engine traffic is still the best source of traffic on the internet and the more of it you can get the better. By improving your web site traffic ranking even on just one search engine, you can become more important with all the search engines.
So what is a web site’ page rank anyway? The ranking system is nothing but a way for Google to assign a level of importance to your website. When someone searches for something the ranking determines what’s most relevant and what’s the most important information on that specific search term. Think of the entire internet as one big library of information. The search engines act as indexing systems that helps you to find information in this big library. Just like in a ‘normal’ library, certain books are more important and more relevant than others. Instead of you having to go to every website to find the most important and most relevant information, Google assigns a page rank that predetermines the importance and relevance of your website. When someone searches for something specific online, the page rank of a website will largely determine which site is most important and what the specific web site traffic ranking is for that search.
If two websites contain exactly the same information, the one with the highest page rank will be the one that gets shown in the search results. One of the easiest ways for Google to determine whether your website is important is to see whether other websites value your website. In other words if other websites link to your site it means that your site has something that other sites think is important. Google likes this, and if other sites like you then it is very likely that Google will also like you.
Getting links to your website is one of the best strategies for improving your web site traffic ranking. But it’s not as simple as that. To make some more refined distinctions between important and unimportant websites, Google will also check the traffic ranking of the site linking to yours. Getting one link from a website with a page rank of 6 will mean more than ten links from websites with a page rank of 2. So, it’s not just about getting links, but it’s about getting quality links from high PR websites in the same niche as yours (must be relevant information). Always try and keep the ‘human factor’ in mind – search engines provide a service and that service is to serve people with the best information for their needs.
With web site traffic rankings it is important to distinguish between importance and relevance. Relevance is determined by standard SEO practices of your content, your keywords and the actual information on your website. Importance is determined by your page rank. Doing the one without the other won’t be of any use if you want a high web site traffic ranking with the search engines.
When the whole ranking system became important, several marketers got smart started building what is known as ‘link farms’ or ‘link exchanges’ where different web masters exchange links and by the sheer amount of links they were able to boost their web site traffic rankings significantly. Google quickly caught on to this and now distinguishes between one-way and reciprocal links. A one way link is worth much more than a reciprocal link. These types of link exchanges are becoming less effective and you will be much better off spending your time and effort building quality links from high PR and authority sites in your niche – preferably one way links.
One of the best strategies for building one way links from high PR websites is to write articles and submit them to article directories. Your links within the article is a one way back link and many of the article directories have very high web site traffic rankings. This can be very time consuming but well worth the effort. Many authority sites with very high PR’s offer the opportunity for you to exchange links with them or to post comments or list your website in their directory. These are worth gold and getting one way back links from these sites will help you greatly in working your way to the top of Google’s ranking.