Archive for January, 2011

Title: Should ‘Write To Rank’ Be Punished by Google?

Search Engine News, Search Engine Optimization

Article Source: Link Exchange Service Network

Google has stated many times that content should be written for the reader of the content and not to rank in search engines. I assume this would go for YouTube videos as well. It is an excellent approach for search engines to take in my opinion because theoretically if every content producer follows this standard, search results would be filled with high quality relevant links.

Unfortunately, every blogger or content publisher doesn’t follow this ‘write for the user’ approach. Many spammy content mills working with black hat SEO companies have been creating this content for years. It often includes paid links to sites and is created to raise the search ranking of the SEO’s customers site in Google and other search engines. Google is aware of this and has been rather effective in keeping these articles out of top search results.

However, Google’s principal of rewarding publishers with top search results who create content for users rather than a high search result is now suspect. Google is clearly rewarding content that is produced by SEO’d content powerhouse Demand Media with top results in its search engine. They are major Adsense partners of Google as well which I delineated in my recent article, "Google: Are You Really Serious About Web Spam?".

Has Google’s search result philosophy changed? Is Google now encouraging all of us content makers to write for search results rather than the reader? If so, has Google jumped the shark as the greatest search engine by not favoring the best content over SEO’d content?

Demand Media which just had a highly successful IPO valuing the company at over $1.5 billion is openly running an SEO’d content mill.  They are producing content for the sole purpose of ranking for thousands of keywords in Google. They have article topic request for submitters that are based on titles that are designed specifically to rank for certain keywords in Google. They have search engine specialist employed to direct programmers to write sophisticated algorithms that give them data on what subjects to write about and how to structure articles to appear in top results for a search term.

Demand Media’s entire business model is built around creating content that will rank high in millions of long-tail search results which contain Google ads that will be clicked on over a number of years. Google is obviously aware of Demand’s SEO’d content and their Adwords revenue strategy which makes Google’s perceived stance of encouraging bloggers and publishers to write ‘content for users, not their search engine’ a joke.

The problem with content produced for search results is that it competes with content produced for users. It comes down to what makes the best search results, articles written with passion and experience and for the reader or articles written to rank high for a search term by someone paid ten bucks? 

Google, it’s time to revisit whether you want to remain the best in search or just the best in getting ad clicks.

And Google, in order to remain the best … you must punish with lower search results ‘write to rank’ articles and videos!

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Title: Econsultancy: UK SEO Market Grew By 16 Percent Last Year

Search Engine News, Search Engine Optimization

Article Source: Link Exchange Service Network

The term "austerity" was almost omnipresent in British culture last year, with budget cutbacks being discussed on a regular basis by just about everyone.  Only it seems the search industry came out more than okay, as a new report from Econsultancy indicates the UK marketplace for SEO came to be worth roughly $680 million.

Indeed, Econsultancy’s 2011 SEO Agencies Buyer’s Guide in part stated, "Econsultancy estimates that the UK marketplace for SEO was worth 376m [$587 million] in 2009 and that it grew by 16% during 2010 to a value of 436m [$680 million]."

That’d represent an impressive increase almost any year, well ahead of the rate of inflation.  That it occurred during the middle of an international recession is all the more significant for the SEO industry.

As for where things might head in 2011, it’s hard to imagine a decrease in spending will occur as the economy recovers.  Jake Hird, Senior Research Analyst at Econsultancy, observed in a statement, "[T]he SEO market continues to flourish, as it is a proven and highly effective method of delivering return on investment by successfully driving traffic and increasing sales."

And with regards to how the standard SEO process might change, Econsultancy created the chart below to act as a guide of sorts.

Let’s hope 2011 turns out well for everyone in the industry.

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Title: Think Google PageRank Doesn’t Matter? Think Again.

Search Engine News, Search Engine Optimization

Article Source: Link Exchange Service Network

It looks like Google wants you to think PR doesn’t matter, but don’t let them fool you! For more than a decade now, Google has been trying to retrieve this metric from the radar of webmasters. That Google has stopped pushing regular updates to their toolbar is one more step in the strategy to convince you that PageRank doesn’t matter anymore.

Balderdash. Let’s look at the trouble Google’s gone to pull the wool over our eyes.

PageRank wasn’t unknown to webmasters in Google’s in the late 90s, but the search giant really spilled the beans on PageRank in December 2000 when it released the Google toolbar that included the metric that Google still describes today as "basis of Google’s search technology."

Google knew that the metric would be of vital – and viral – interest to webmasters and webmasters not only flocked to install the toolbar, they began using the metric for link swapping, selling and buying. It made PR manipulation so much easier when you could easily see Google’s estimation of the importance of a page.

Google has been backpedaling ever since. Unhappy with the manipulation of PageRank that was greatly enhanced by the ability to see the PR on any page, (but apparently unwilling to withdraw entirely the prime reason to keep the toolbar installed on your browser), Google fought back with a publicity campaign and with tools that sometimes backfired.

For example, in 2005, Google introduced the nofollow attribute to fight comment spam and encouraged webmasters to add it to their blogs. Not long after, they demanded that anyone selling text links use the nofollow attribute to discourage selling PR.

This handy attribute opened yet another can of PR worms for Google, as webmasters quickly learned how to apply to sculpt PageRank within a site and Google engineers had to change the way that Google divides links on a page to prevent webmasters from reassigning it with the use of nofollow.

Google stopped pushing data to the toolbar in late 2004 and established something of a quarterly schedule of updates with the hope, one assumes, that outdated PR would devalue the commodity. "The PageRank that is displayed in the Google Toolbar is for entertainment purposes only," Googlers reportedly announced that December.

In October of 2009, the ability to see the "importance of a page" was removed from Google’s Webmaster tools in the search giant’s ongoing campaign to take the focus off the PR metric, and 6 months later in April ’10, released what appears to be the last quarterly update. Webmasters report updates to toolbar PR often with no pattern, as though updates are now simply random and sporadic.

Google does seem to have effectively rendered the toolbar more useless than not, and  it’s common to hear many webmasters insist that PageRank is no longer important.

Again, I say, balderdash! If PR wasn’t still a central factor in Google’s algorithm – or as Google puts it, the basis of their technology — why would they go to all this trouble to pretend otherwise?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

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