Here at Little Big Voice, we’re always trying to keep our ears to the ground and whenever Google has a major update, we like to make sure we let people know what’s going on.
So it was with great interest this week when we got word of new initiatives by Google to reward websites with good quality content and penalise those who think littering a page full of second rate content and/or sites selling links is going to be good for their SEO.
In short – the word on the street is web spam and ‘trickery’ is well and truly out!
So what’s the big deal this time?
Google has always supported good SEO because it wants to offer the very best content in the search results for end-users when they search the Internet.
To this end, what you want to be achieving to meet this aim is good quality content, ensuring that your keywords are the right ones while having a system to review this regularly. After all, it’s no good having a website sweep once in a blue moon. SEO is a bit like Google’s constant updates – designed to keep abreast of what’s going on and to ensure that the content available is relevant to the users looking for it. And that’s how you should think about your own website.
So what’s our advice?
Well, for a start don’t rely on bland text with no purpose. For years unethical black hat SEO’s have used software to spin articles, basically the software rewrites the same article many times using various synonyms, the article more often than not becomes unreadable producing low quality content. These changes at Google would similarly apply to any badly written content whether written by a person or a computer programme. Likewise, selling outgoing links on your website will also render your website as web spam. Try thinking about the end-user and what they need to know when they search for your business and try to be a bit creative!
Now a key part of Google’s update is the need to eradicate the ‘webspam’ we’ve mentioned. What this means is an eradication of websites that use certain techniques to try and trick the system. These sites try and trick the system by looking for loopholes in algorithms for example, to achieve a high ranking. It’s a bit like taking the credit for building a house, only to find that when you look inside it’s not actually finished. It just looks that way.
So tell me more about web spam?
A big part of this is keyword stuffing, selling links and second rate content – keyword stuffing is when someone somewhere has written lots of words and ‘stuffed’ their keywords in to those words. The downside of this approach is that you either get content which makes no sense, or content which is just bland and has no actual relevance to the end-user when they search. Ever seen an article about something only to find it’s full of irrelevant links to something seemingly unrelated? That’s a form of web spam.
So what does Google hope to achieve with the latest set of changes?
As Google have stated on their own blog, they want to assist end-users in finding websites that provide the right content, fulfil the requirements of that user and therefore, provide the best experience.
A second part of this is that the dodgy tactics that have been adopted by people are eradicated, so that decent websites get ranked better. If their content is good why shouldn’t they be rewarded by Google by being higher up the chain?
So have these changes happened?
Some have and some haven’t. However, Google’s blog states that in the coming days they are making a significant algorithm change that is targeted specifically at web spam. Therefore, you can expect to see bad websites lose rankings for violation of Google’s quality guidelines. In fact, Google estimates that at least 3% of English websites will be affected by the update – thats a colossal amount of websites!
They obviously don’t tell us everything, but the fact that they’ve said this is a key indication of their intention to improve web results in general.
Google have said that they want to see more ‘white hat’ SEO (if you want to see what that is see our previous blogs) and develop search results so that they offer decent content to users everywhere.
What can you do if you’re unsure?
If you need feedback on the content of your website, then you can always contact us and we will try and give you some general guidance.
But remember, we’ve been writing blogs for quite a while now and we know for a fact that we have posted articles advising you on quality content, so do look around our blog and pick up some quick and easy tips!