Google’s SEO tweaks keep industry on its toes
In this guest post from Andrew Lafford of RingJohn.com, specialists in web optimisation, he argues that SEO is more like a marathon than a sprint, and that the recent ‘announcement’ of changes to Google’s search aren’t so much to be feared as welcomed…
First of all I want to congratulate Matt Cutts of Google on once again sending the global SEO community into a spin, he never fails! And he doesn’t even have to say too much to do it.
Now, with this latest SEO ‘announcement’ do you take him at his word or do you add a pinch of salt?
At a recent SXSW conference discussing ranking factors, with Matt Cutts and search engine journalist Danny Sullivan among others making up the panel members, the age-old question of “if everyone is doing SEO then what happens” was asked. From this seemingly ordinary, almost scripted, question came an extraordinary answer from Matt. You can find the full audio clip here (courtesy of SearchEngineLand).
Google’s SEO Tweaks
“Normally we don’t pre-announce changes but…” cue massive inhale of breath. Matt and his team of anti-spam engineers have been working on the algorithm that will “level the playing ground” between “over-optimised” sites and sites with useful, relevant content. So all you SEOs practising a bit of keyword stuffing and link exchanging simply to try and fool Google, you may commence shaking. Matt explained that with the new algorithm, to be introduced over the coming weeks, Google will become smarter, and its ability to recognise relevance will greatly improve. This means sites not practicing SEO to any great extent but which contain relevant content will be accounted for. Make it natural people, for Google and the user.
But is all this really anything new? Time and time again we hear how Google will penalise sites that practise questionable SEO but some still manage to sneak to the top of the rankings. However, credit where credit is due. Last year Google’s Panda update did address the issue of duplicate content, while around the same time going for the jugular of sites with too many above-the-fold ads on landing pages. This gave quality SEOs a ray of hope. And with this latest move from Google, perhaps the tables have finally turned.
Cause for Concern?
Understandably those who have been optimising their sites for many years are a bit concerned. Will Google determine their site is over-optimised? Matt, may we have a clear definition please? Thanks!
There is one message from the book of Google that reads true. That is that they strive for relevance and user experience and they believe that webmasters and SEOs alike should strive for a similar goal. Once the user finds your website through the correct search query, you should greet said user with architecture that is easy to navigate, design that’s easy on the eye and a site full of juicy content. This will ensure that many more users will follow. Get into people’s conversations and the subsequent social signals will pay dividends.
SEO: There are no shortcuts
There are no SEO shortcuts with long-term advantages. It requires time and graft. Let Google throw out all the algorithm changes it wants to. Those SEOs creating fresh content and engaging with their community – in short performing “proper SEO” – need not fear.
RingJohn is an internet marketing agency with offices in London, Dublin, New York & Rome, offering a range of internet consulting, implementation services and training courses to ensure long-term success. – more
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