Most people have positive, cuddly associations to pandas. Google changed that for a lot of online businesses back in February by implementing ongoing Panda updates. Last week, an online source revealed data related to the updates’ influence on search rankings. It seems things are going as planned; the SERPs are populated with better results, indirectly tipping the cap to brands making modifications and SEO firms that helped.
SEO – It Works
SEO works; it doesn’t guarantee success of a brand, but it does what the acronym implies; it optimizes SE opportunities. Practitioners are not magicians; we simply follow the provided blue prints for success as provided by the major search engines. As we can see regarding the devaluation of content farms on SERPs, those who heeded suggestions benefitted. Those who did not follow suggestions suffered.
I like to describe search engine optimization services as “dynamic.” Dynamic aid multitasks and helps in several ways, surpassing one-time, static aid. Let’s consider how an SEO strategist may help regarding Panda updates. For one, a practitioner will call attention to immediate, to-be modifications, helping clients escape possible penalties waged by Google. Secondly, specialists may help a client change the way the brand produces and implements content. Such wisdom has far-reaching, positive implications, transcending immediate space and time.
Many times, industry practitioners refer to search engine optimization as an investment rather than a cost. That’s a beneficial way for potential clients to perceive the services. Rather than a steadfast rate and exchange process, SEO enables continuous growth, making it rather difficult to place an exact value upon it. Additionally, clients can learn a bit of SEO as the campaign progresses, giving them fuel for future success without the aid of an external source.
SE + SEO = Client
Some novices think the search engine optimization process is magic, but it’s more like translation. SE practitioners have industry experience. We understand SE suggestions and how to implement them regarding client campaigns; clients don’t have to fret over continuous updates. The SEO process is going as planned, indirectly exhibited through the recent “victory.”
Amid all of the recent news that has been hitting newspapers, online blogs and forums, Google continues their campaign on useless websites. Announced yesterday (Thursday, February 24, 2011), Content Farms are the most recent casualties, affecting 12% of websites. Content farms are websites (and companies) that have a lot of textual content, aimed at pleasing search algorithms, so their website appears high in search engine results. They typically lack useful data however.
So here we have it, another crackdown in the movement toward eliminating websites that don’t contain good, original content, worthy of sufficient page rank.
Google’s Amit Singhal and Matt Cutts discussed yesterday in their blog “In the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking – a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries – and we wanted to let people know what’s going on. This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality websites which are low-value for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful.”
WebiMax Founder and CEO Kenneth C. Wisnefski discussed in yesterday’s blog that he “envisions another large scale update via Google in the near future, aimed on eliminating ‘search spam’ (aka useless results)”.
As search engine guidelines change (what seems to be daily), it is becoming ever more important to make sure your SEO Company adheres to the changing policies and follows the SEO Code of Ethics. Many SEO firms aren’t paying attention to recent news on crackdown and changing policies. There is 1 out there however that has proven to always stay 1 step ahead of the curve. That’s what separates #1 from the rest.
Google continues their strict crackdown on illegitimate SEO tactics; “Content farms” is the new target. In a recent announcement on Google’s official Blog, they are adding an extension to their Chrome web browser that allows people to block out certain websites from showing on their search results. Not only does the end-user get the chance to block out these spammy websites, Google gets a list of which sites people are blocking.
This is another way the search engine titan continues to get firmer on their recent values of cracking down on black hat and illegitimate SEO tactics. Content farms are websites that generate a lot of text that satisfy search engine algorithms so the website appears higher in rank. Then, these websites are sold for millions of dollars because their value is so high on search engines. Many people, however, criticize these sites as actually having poor, useless information.
Also, Google most recently found Forbes.com guilty of providing paid links on its site. A practice frowned upon as “outside of Google’s Quality Guidelines”. Not the first time Forbes has been caught in this situation by SE’s but this accusation has Forbes top SEO scrambling to find his own paid links on his own site.
It is becoming more and more evident that the search leader is pioneering a crusade against practices outside of its guidelines and for the foreseeable future it is recommended to pay close attention to its headline efforts. TechCrunch.com recommends a great tool to monitor links gotten by your SEO and can shed some light on practices outside a firms control.
“The SEO industry has unfortunately been an industry that has gotten somewhat of a bad name because of unscrupulous firms that utilize questionable techniques to help improve the online visibility of their clients”Kenneth C. Wisnefski, Founder and CEO of WebiMax
“The notion that all search engine optimization firms utilize these sorts of tactics is simply untrue. Do your due diligence on the potential SEO vendor you are interested in working with and ask them to provide transparency in to the strategy they are going to utilize to increase your natural search rankings. If they can’t provide a detailed strategy, my suggestion would be to avoid them”.
This is where SEO ethics come in to play. Unfortunately, there is not exactly strict regulation on SEO and companies are continuously trying to navigate the system to make their clients populate high on search engines. As Wisnefski describes, it is absolutely vital for companies to be fully aware of the track record that an SEO company has before they contract with them.
Take, for example the recent news that retailer JC Penney’s was flagged by Google when their SEO firm used Link farms to increase their rankings. Don’t let this happen to your company. Make sure your SEO firm has an established Code of Ethics and has a proven track record. SEO is becoming a game of survival of the honest.