“G’day People. I have been spending hours upon hours trying to work out Googles new changes and the Panda update. Google have updated their Webmaster Guidelines – What we are trying to do, is work out what the new rules are so we can rank in Google as quickly as possible!

EG-  unnatural links that violate Googles guidelines – Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites. There are many Coupons sites and daily deal sites on the market. If you want to have run a deal or find a coupon, you will have to pick the best deal in your area.” Joe Brown – Webflow Design Gold Coast:

So for example Voupons have focused on links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites. Now Google sees this as somewhat un-natural or trying to trick them. What is Optimized anchor text? EG –  keywords in the anchor text, so keywords in the anchor text is “optimized” and therefore NOW a violation of Google’s guidelines. Before this wasn’t, and this is how we were able to rank key words easily.

NOW Google’s guidelines are:

“Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behaviour that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site and links gained, for SEO purposes – intended to manipulate ranking – are against Google Guidelines” So what does this mean moving forward?

Google vs Webmasters

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Check out this Video with Google’s John Muller. He says that, if the webmaster initiated it, then it isn’t a natural link. If you want to be on the safe side, John suggests to use no-follow on links.

Google are trying to be consistent, but what sux is the complete disconnect on display from a few of the webmasters. Google have no problem with press releases, but if a webmaster wants to be on the safe side in terms of Google’s guidelines, the webmaster should no-follow the link.

Really?? If it really is a press release, and not an attempt to link build for SEO purposes, then why would a webmaster have any issue with adding a no-follow to a link?

They wouldn’t.

But some webmasters/Indian SEO companies appear to lack self-awareness about what it is they are actually doing, they persist with their line of questioningWwhat they really want to hear is “keyword links in press releases are okay.” Then we can continue to issue pretend press releases as a link building exercise.

But are They missing the point.

Who is on Google’s Side?

Can we really find out what the real issue is and is SEO dead?

At the end of the day: If we continue to let ourselves be defined by Google, we are going to get defined out of the game entirely. It should be an obvious – but sadly Google is not on the webmasters side. Google is on Google’s side and that is why they suck!. Google often say they are on the users side, and there is certainly some truth in that but as they try and monetise every ounce from punters and skew the result sand and increase PPC clicks = $$ for them.

When it comes to Webflow Design the webmaster, the webmaster are everywhere and the content supplier is managed, weeded out, sorted and categorized. When it comes to the more “professional and hardcore” webmasters then Google’s behaviour is “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”.

Why? Because some webmaster and SEOs, don’t just publish content for users but they also compete with Google’s revenue stream and lets face it now Google has their public sticks to worry about. SEOs offer a competing service CPC that provides exactly the same benefit as Google’s main $$ maker, and that is qualified click traffic.

If we get too good at what we do, then why would people pay Google so much money per click? They wouldn’t – they would pay it to us and seo experts instead. So  Google sees SEO as a business threat and is always battling with them.

Do Google ignore press release links? Easy enough to do but they don’t. Google are so very secret about algorithmic topics, unless the topic is something they want you to hear. And why do they want you to hear this? Because that it is done to undermine link building, and SEOs.

Guidelines Honing In On Target

Check out this article by Amit Singhal, who is head of Google’s core ranking team. It was written in 2011. Here’s how Google say they determine quality:

We aren’t disclosing the actual ranking signals used in our algorithms because we don’t want folks to game our search results; but if you want to step into Google’s mindset, the questions below provide some guidance on how we’ve been looking at the issue:

  • Would you trust the information presented in this article?
  • Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
  • Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  • Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
  • Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
  • Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  • How much quality control is done on content?

Bla bla bla. Is almost always about “producing high quality content”, because this is what Google’s users want, and what Google’s users want, Google’s shareholders want. Right?

Of course they want this but as we don’t want poor quality content.  But as most of us know, producing high quality content is no guarantee of anything!. Great for Google, great for users, but often not so good for publishers as the publisher carries all the risk and we might have th best product but we do we want to spend days and hours writing new – unique content when it makes no difference to your service. You might have the best product, best price but hundreds of articles is useless to the end user…

High quality content is a bit time consumer and high production cost attached to it, and given crappy web advertising rates and  high possibility of not being seen. No wonder webmasters also push their high quality content in order to ensure it ranks. What other choice have we got?

google-zipAnd the Bigger Question

Google can change it whenever they like! What we’re doing today might be frowned upon tomorrow and that what is really sux. One day, your content may be made invisible, and there will be nothing you can do about it, even after you spent thousands of $$ and created all this content we were told to do.

Do you have a plan for this?

This is what I reckon: The only thing that matters is how much traffic you are getting from search engines today, and how prepared you are for when Google shuts off that traffic”

This is a question of risk management. What happens if your main site, or your client’s sites, get slapped by another Google policy change and gets smacked? Run one site with no SEO strategy at all, whilst you run other sites that push hard? Do you stay well within the guidelines and trust that will always be good enough? If you stay well within the guidelines, but don’t rank, isn’t that effectively the same as a ban i.e. you’re invisible? We are not sure what the answer is at this stage.

This is why you need many strategies, relationships and traffic sources other than Google organic. You still need an seo, smm and Google strategy but you also need to build your lists, connect with other networks, join affiliate programs and find other alternatives that suits your business.