There has been a lot of chatter about Google’s latest attempt to clean up its search results. The “Fred” update hit on or around the 8th of March 2017 and ever since experts have been debating about what was the main aim and who are the victims: SEO Round Table, Web Text Tool, Cognitive SEO as just a few examples.
This is going to be a bit of a rambling post but I thought it was time enough to bring everything up to date in a mind dump sort of way so here goes.
Here’s the video from Matt Cutts but if you can’t be bothered listening to him ramble on I’ll give you the shortened version: Unless you are a very big website with lots of resources you are about to get your ass handed to you (again).
How is your traffic doing after Google’s Penguin update (April 24th 2012)? If you’re anything like me you are suffering quite badly. A lot of the websites I’ve built in the last 2-3 years have been hit hard of by this update regardless of content quality or promotion techniques used. A couple of those sites I was very proud off and even worse it seems that one in particular was negatively impacted by the actions of somebody else linking to it…brilliant. Then there is MoneySchemes.net, which for reasons of not being a moron I tend not to promote using any of the systems and tools I write about on it. Yet if you are reading this via a web search you are probably one of only around 30 people to do so today, where as before the 24th this site receieved hundreds of visitors a day. Why wouldn’t it? It’s all unique content, written by somebody who knows what they are talking about (most of the time!) and a lot of people find it quite useful. It’s not hooked up in any quick fix link systems (not be me anyway) so why would it get hammered? I guess sometimes it’s more about the subject of your writing than the quality of it.
BUT anyway, on to the real subject of this post. What to do with your websites that were badly affected by the Penguin update?
Yes my friends, yes negative SEO is now very much a reality! Don’t get me worng, it has been possible to negatively impact on peoples search results for a long time, in fact ever since Google decided that rather than treating “bad SEO” neautrally i.e. ignoring it, there’d prefer to punish it. BUT Google were always sensible enough to look at balance and if you really wanted to take down a competitor you were looking at many months of hard work and not a small amount of money. Now thanks to the latest Google update (nicknamed “What the fuck have you done now”) all this has become much easier. There are so many tools out there that will post links in a way that Google are now penalising that it’s just a case of getting a subscription and submitting your competitors websites. In fact you can do it in a one off if you like, just pay somebody to blast a load of fake forum profiles and you’re done. Even better is if you go by many of the current websites ranking well all we have to do to gain favour with Google again is go back to exact match domains, we don’t even need any content! There are really lots of examples out there of totally blank websites ranking in the top 10 in Google for massively competitive search terms. What progress.
I’m not saying that Bing actually take into account the position for a web page in Googles search results as a variable in their search algorithm, that would just be stupid. However I did notice that when some of my web pages recently slid down the rankings in Google they also happened so start sliding down Bings results within a month. Probably just coincidence?
There is a lot of myth that gets spread around the webmaster community. One of the favourite debates concerns the speed at which it’s OK to build links to a page. Whilst some people will argue that building more than 10,20,30 links a day is enough for Google to take a dump on your page there are others that claim to have built 2000 or even 10000 without problem. I’ve been running an experiment and I have a new take on it, it actually agrees with both sides of the argument but for a very specific reason:-
(I have a confession to make, it looks like I never implemented this technique on this blog since changing the template, will do it now!)