Guest Blog post by Terry Boddie, Agency Liaison Director at Marketing Media Management
For those working in online marketing, it is clear to see that Google changes a lot. This has a way of getting on some people’s last nerve. Many small businesses lost big the last time Google dropped them from a position in the top sites in search results. This was all because Google changes its algorithms periodically. This had the effect of making Google appear as if it was the bad guy, but there is more than chance when it comes to rankings.
Google looks at more than 200 different criteria when they are giving a webpage its rank. Those companies that use black-hat SEO practices are ever engaging in a war against a formidable foe. Eventually, they can expect to be found out by Google, and during the next change in algorithms, these particular businesses are sure to lose out to those that use only white-hat SEO methods.
The primary goal of Google is to put a stop to these black-hat SEO practices which artificially inflate a site’s rankings. It also wants to reward credible sites that follow the good SEO rules. Online marketing businesses that learn what these rules are and use them will rank high and continue to stay there no matter what.
One very effective technique for increasing the Google ranking of a site is the use of well-written, properly optimized content. This makes it crucial that one create a site which will provide a good customer experience. Another tactic is to include headline tags, place appropriate keywords within articles, use correct URL structure, and include information about the articles through your social media platforms.
It is essential for building traffic to show up high on Google searches. This provides the sales needed to prosper. However, using incorrect methods of getting there will only cause damage in the long run.
There are no hard and fast rules to long term seo success, other than developing quality websites with quality content and quality links pointing to it. You need to mix it up and learn from experience. Remember there are exceptions to nearly every rule, and you probably have little chance determining exactly why you rank in search engines. I’ve been doing it for over 10 years and everyday I’m trying to better understand Google, to learn more and learn from others’ experiences. It’s important not to obsess about the minute seo specifics unless you really have the time to do so!
Without a doubt the single biggest change I saw with regard to some of the sites I’ve been handling and sites I’ve followed over the years has to do with penalties on an overabundance of anchor text links. Yes, I’ve used them. I’ve been working on some of those sites for about 8 years and frankly cheap and massive amounts of anchor text links from crummy sites such as weak directories used to work exceptionally well, especially in some relatively weak areas of competition. Now its the reverse. They cause penalties. So an overabundance of anchor text is a severe problem, especially if it has the aura of being unnatural in google’s eyes. In light of that, I’ve taken the time to contact Google about an anchor text link that was entirely provided by the editorial decision of a site owner on which there was no previous interaction between the sites or individuals, its on a website of no relevance to the smb in question, its a footer link on a page. In other words under every algorithmic formula I can think of it looks, smells, and has the appearance of a faked spammy link. And yet it most definitely isn’t. If I was an algo…I’d penalize the receiving website for that link…seeing as how google has been doing that. But it was entirely not spammy. It reflects the site owner’s appreciation of the smb. Isn’t that absurd??? Yet to me that is where the penalty on anchor text links has taken us.