We all knew this one was coming sooner or later, we have been talking about it for a while and the chatter has been increasing quite a bit. If you focus your SEO efforts around gaming the system your website could sink like the titanic (no offense to anyone on the titanic). Search engine optimization is an effort that works very well when done tastefully and by following Google SEO guidelines.
The problem is that many website owners and “marketers” over the years have really beaten certain techniques into the ground only creating more of a mess really. Google is aiming to fix that mess by adjusting their algorithm to reward those which decide to market their business the right way. On Tuesday Google announced that the quality algorithm change would be taking effect very soon. Some websites will be sinking.
“Google has said before that search engine optimization, or SEO, can be positive and constructive—and we’re not the only ones. Effective search engine optimization can make a site more crawlable and make individual pages more accessible and easier to find.”
Folks, it is important to realize that Google does like SEO activities when they are done correctly. When you proceed with clean smart SEO efforts you help Google catalog their information that much better. It is when you attempt to pursue shoddy practices that Google beams their red tractor beam at you. There is a difference between good SEO and bad SEO.
“White hat” search engine optimizers often improve the usability of a site, help create great content, or make sites faster, which is good for both users and search engines. Good search engine optimization can also mean good marketing: thinking about creative ways to make a site more compelling, which can help with search engines as well as social media. The net result of making a great site is often greater awareness of that site on the web, which can translate into more people linking to or visiting a site.
If you employ white hat SEO techniques Google will smile. Don’t mess with the technology they have spent an exuberant amount of resource trying to perfect and you will eventually be rewarded. Google likes it when you put on your marketing & branding hat and simply play by the rules. That doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with your digital voice just don’t splash the pot.
“In the next few days, we’re launching an important algorithm change targeted at webspam. 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 represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content. While we can’t divulge specific signals because we don’t want to give people a way to game our search results and worsen the experience for users, our advice for webmasters is to focus on creating high quality sites that create a good user experience and employ white hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive webspam tactics.”
What this means is that if you have been gaming the system for most of your websites life cycle or even your clients things are about to come to an end. Those who have spent time doing good hard marketing and branding and always putting the focus on the user experience will soon be rewarded. Does this mean that every nicely designed website is going to shoot to the top of the search engines? Most likely not but it will be the starting point and foundation to future success online. Abide by the rules, put the user first and think about what you are doing on your website and everything should be just dandy.