The goal of Google is to return the most relevant results for any given search query and they have been trying to achieve this since they first started. The PageRank (PR) formula was initially designed to reflect the popularity of a webpage and the scale was algometric rather than linear which meant going up from one value to another would require much more links. Based with this knowledge, SEOists have been manipulating the linkosphere with links which were not based on meritocracy and this have given rise to a lot of spam in the search results. Last year, in February 2011, Google had its first counter attack with the now so famous Google Panda Update. This was decreased a lot of irrelevant results as the quality of a website as a whole is judged and not just one specific webpage. This means that webmasters are now responsible for ensuring the quality of all the pages on their sites, otherwise poor performing pages would affect the ranking of good ones.



Still that was not enough because the webosphere has been polluted so badly that only Panda could not tackle the whole issue. So Google has been to devalue private blog networks because these were tactics used by people to gain a lot of backlinks while not adding any useful contribution to the web. Webmasters were notified on an unnatural linking pattern if they have been caught participating in those link schemes.

Now the time has come for an even more drastic change. In an attempt to fight the spammers with bare hands, Google has decided to make a change to its ranking algorithm that would take into account spamming techniques used to boost ranking. This will include things like keyword stuffing, sneaky redirects, cloaking and link schemes. Most SEOs avoid pretty much all the ranking manipulation techniques except for one which is link building. The problem with link development is that it is not editorial because the term “editorial” means that you have not influenced anyone to give you a link but the person did that through their own will. So even sending an email to request a link, no matter how good a fit your website is for that particular webmaster, it is not editorial in my opinion. So what’s Google opinion on this? Well SEOs are now advised not to do any search engine optimisation at all. Shocked? Well I am!! Here’s an official link to this announcement.

The change they are launching will be affecting around 3% of queries and that’s a significant number but what I don’t understand is if we don’t build links, how are we supposed to rank? Yes, Google says create good content and that going to earn you links but in my experience, no matter how good your content is, you’re not going to get links to it unless you start marketing it. And yes, Google is now saying to concentrate on a marketing strategy instead of link building or SEO. Well marketing is a difficult task because not all content can be marketed effectively and second you need to come up with something really original for your plan to work. Now different people will react to marketing ploys differently and it will become really complicated to rank if we have to rely on marketing.

It seems that the best way going forward is to reduce your dependence on organic search traffic and start looking into direct traffic and referrals more.



25/Apr/2012

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