It seems Google releases a new ranking algorithm update every week. Last week, Google’s Matt Cutts announced there is another algorithm update targeting web spam. What does this mean for your rankings and how must you react?
Google doesn’t like web spam
“In the next few days, we’re launching an important algorithm change targeted at webspam. The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines.
We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content.
While we can’t divulge specific signals because we don’t want to give people a way to game our search results and worsen the experience for users, our advice for webmasters is to focus on creating high quality sites that create a good user experience and employ white hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive webspam tactics.”
Things that Google considers spam
Google’s announcement shows two examples. The first example is a page that is stuffed with hundreds of keywords in a comma separated list.
Google doesn’t want that type of pages in the search results. The second example is a page that has normal text. However, the text contains keyword optimized links that are totally unrelated to the surrounding text.
Other things that Google considers spam are linking schemes, misleading redirects or purposeful duplicate content.
Google says that the right kind of SEO is fine
Many people confuse search engine optimization with spamming. Spamming and SEO are two totally different things. Google’s latest announcement also contains a statement about “white hat” SEO:
“Effective search engine optimization can make a site more crawlable and make individual pages more accessible and easier to find. [...]
‘White hat’ search engine optimizers often improve the usability of a site, help create great content, or make sites faster, which is good for both users and search engines.”
How to react to Google’s latest ranking algorithm
Google released two algorithm updates: a Panda update on April, 19th and the update explained above on April, 24th. If your web page rankings dropped on April, 19th, then you have to improve the quality of your web pages.
If your page rankings dropped on April, 24th, then you have to remove all spam elements from your web pages. If you think that your website was flagged by mistake, you can inform Google.
Only use white-hat SEO methods if you want to be on the safe side
If you use shady SEO methods Google might penalize your website. To be on the safe side, only use white-hat SEO methods from a reputable company.