Kenneth C. Wisnefski, Founder and CEO of WebiMax, the nation’s #1 rated Search Engine Optimization (SEO) firm, and an expert in the field of online marketing, discusses an important trend in the evolution of Google’s search engine policies. Wisnefski explains that companies need to adapt their search engine strategies to ethically and effectively stay ahead of the changing landscape if they want to enjoy success in SEO.

“Some of the practices that SEO companies were doing in the past weren’t originally frowned upon by Google, but over time, they have become a concern”, discusses Wisnefski. “The notion of ‘buying’ or ‘renting’ links a few years ago was a common practice, and highly effective. Google realized that this process was a way to artificially inflate link value by merely paying for quality links and they began to penalize for this practice”.

This discussion arises as more news continues to break about Google and their continued “cracking down” on black-hat SEO tactics. This week, Overstock.com was penalized by Google for encouraging college and university websites to post links to Overstock pages. Sites associated with “.edu” instead of “.com” will typically show up higher in Google’s search results. Google responded considering this tactic a violation of their guidelines. Just last week, retailer JC Penney’s was also flagged when their SEO Company used disreputable SEO tactics.

“Some of the practices that have been discussed with JC Penney and Overstock.com aren’t as malicious as they may sound”, stated Wisnefski. “Some of the issues with link building really shows that as Google began to penalize for this process, companies ignored these changes and did not adapt their SEO strategy to be ‘one step ahead”.

Sporadically, Google will update their search algorithm and it will begin to penalize for various factors that in the past may have been somewhat acceptable. Towards the later part of April 2010, they implemented an algorithm change that is often referred to as it’s “May Day Update” because its proximity to the onset of the month of May. The likelihood of additional updates by Google coming in the near future is expected.

“I envision another large scale update via Google in the near future”, exclaimed Wisnefski. “This update will likely focus on improving the search results from a user’s perspective and eliminating a lot of what is labeled in the industry as “search spam” which is basically useless results. Staying one step ahead of the curve is the best way to make sure your strategy continues to provide results”.