Thursday, April 14, 2005

Google Micro Update?

On Friday 8 April a number of Search Engine marketing sites have dropped out of Google’s search results, starting speculation that a new algo update has been implemented. It would appear to be more of a micro update rather than anything near the scale of Florida or Allegra. Perhaps it's more of a tweak than an update.

One site in particular, SEO Inc, received a direct hit [pardon the pun]. SEO Inc had been ranking consistently at position 2 for search engine optimization, search engine placement and search engine positioning but now is nowhere to be seen in the top 30 results.

SEO Inc had previously been involved in a link spamming melee when a link trader started sending out large numbers of “link back” invitations (Source). We got one of those as well, inviting us to link to SEO Inc in return for a backlink from what was clearly a content devoid link farm. We declined.

It’s possible that this tweak and possibly future (micro?) updates will address the problem of PageRank manipulation by means of dubious link building strategies. Four weeks ago, a Search Engine optimizer revealed how easy he felt it was to manipulate the Search Engine rankings of their Client sites, by applying just these methods. Read the full article in Wired Magazine.

Fighting suspicious link building strategies is all very well but let’s hope innocent bystanders don’t get caught in the cross fire. A competing site could well order a devious link building campaign to penalize a site’s rankings. A kind of commercial Google bomb as it were, with the sole purpose of making the target site look like a “suspicious link builder”. Let’s not be naïve about this: Google et al. have always been reactive rather than proactive when it comes to fighting artificial manipulation of their search results.

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