Dear SEOs, Google Is Out To Get You
Posted 31 August 2012 by Sandy Cosser
That’s what it feels like, doesn’t it? One day you’re tootling along, being (mostly) white-hat and thinking you’re on the right side of Google law and the next … wham … you’re flat on your face staring at plummeting rankings, dropping AdSense revenue and fighting penalties.
As with most things Google does, the spate of updates has been carried out with good intentions. The intentions are, we assume, to get rid of the nasty black-hatters; the “SEOs” that buy their way into the rankings, that produce shoddy content stuffed with keywords and take every single short cut in the book, even inventing some new ones along the way. One of the problems is that some good guys got tangled up in the process and it’s taken months for them to pick their way out of the mire.
The other problem is that while Google has more or less cut off one avenue of exploitation – buying and selling links – by trying to promote quality content, it has inadvertently created another avenue of exploitation.
One way to get links, a legitimate way, is to create good quality guest posts. It used to be that people would be quite keen to accept guest posts because they lent credibility to their sites and because guest posts provided a regular source of fresh content. It was a win-win situation.
Now rumours are circulating that some site owners won’t publish guest posts on a mutually beneficial basis anymore; instead they want to be paid to put content on their sites. Essentially, it’s link buying; only now it’s more time consuming to produce links.
One can’t really fault Google for trying to keep SEOs honest, but one does wonder where all the changes, which appear to be very anti-SEO indeed, will lead the precariously balanced industry.
(Image credit: Merrick Monroe, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, via Flickr)