In the last few days, Google has rolled out yet another update to their search algorithm, and it’s one that promises to reward ‘high quality’ websites. The change will reportedly affect just 3% of English language web searches (as opposed to the 10% that the Panda update hit a year or ago), and is designed expressly to weed out so-called ‘spammy’ websites and those that exist to take advantage of Google’s ranking system.
Who is affected by the change?
This is great news for honest hard-working webmasters and terrible news for practitioners of blackhat SEO. Even in their post announcing the update, Google’s Matt Cutts gives examples of the types of websites that will be negatively affected – including sites that are stuffed with keywords and others that offer no real value to visitors. The ‘made for Adsense’ sites that you see dotted around the web are the types of websites that will no longer be making an appearance in Google’s index – and that’s great news not only for honest website owners, but also for the people searching – because quality content will once again rise to the top. The new algorithm update applies to all websites regardless of niche or industry, so whether that be a truck insurance company running a logistics site or a fashion blog, the same rules will be in place from now on.
How whitehats will benefit from the update
Google has said time and time again that the very best way to achieve search engine success is to add quality, unique content that people will actually want to read. Every change that Google makes to their algorithm is another step towards this objective, and this update is no exception. Because of the way that Google ranks sites, there has been a large focus on generating huge volumes of backlinks for sites. In fact, all you have to do is hop onto a site like Fiverr to see how many people are selling thousands of backlinks for just a few dollars. The problem lies in the fact that these are almost always spammy backlinks that do nothing but make a site look much worse in Google’s eyes. These lazy and cheap blackhat solutions very often result in being penalised by Google and losing rankings. Whitehat SEO practitioners on the other hand, who work hard to generate real backlinks from other relevant sites, will benefit from a boost in the rankings now that all (or at least some) of the spam has been filtered out.
What does this mean for ongoing SEO efforts?
The message that Google is giving out couldn’t be clearer: if you want to rank highly in their search engine, you need to play by the rules. That means that any SEO effort that has cut corners, either by generating spammy backlinks or using private blog networks (like the now de-indexed BuildMyRank), will be punished (fairly, some would say), whereas ‘genuine’ tactics will be rewarded. All of the sites out there that pay their writers a fair wage to generate quality unique
content should see a benefit from this update. This doesn’t mean that articles can’t still be optimised for search engines; of course they can. It simply means that obviously blackhat tactics like keyword stuffing and spamming backlinks will result in de-indexing. Articles can still be written with a keyword or phrase in mind, and still have the same levels of keyword densities – you just need to be careful to keep within Google’s guidelines and focus on quality, not quantity.
How to avoid being penalised by future algorithm updates
If you’re worried about this update, or about any that Google may implement in the future, you could well benefit from a quality SEO service like the one we offer here at LandingNet. The service is all about employing legitimate SEO tactics that stay firmly in the ‘whitehat’ camp while still achieving the search rankings boost you’re looking for. We’ll make sure that your site stays on Google’s good side. The world of SEO has always been one that changes on a dime, so being on board with a service like ours can help give you the confidence and peace of mind you need to climb the rankings without risking the longevity of your web presence.