Google SEO and Updates

February 2015- Inbound Links and Google

Google considers inbound links as one of the most important factors in their search algorithm. To protect this important aspect Google recently changed their system to quash an SEO trick of building inbound links from sites that provide no real traffic. This means that the SEO industry can no longer improve a site ranking on Google by just building inbound links from unknown entities.

After this change was made by Google some black hat SEO’s employed a tactic where they would pay a high number of people to click on inbound links. This tactic is called “Crowdsourcing” which is… Paying users to trick Google..

Another trick is paying users to click on the listing in Google search of the website they are trying to increase the ranking. For example, if your website currently ranks in 8th position for a particular search query then, by acquiring lots of clicks it is possible that you could increase the ranking of that webpage. Why does this happen? This happens because Google treats the number clicks on any listing as an important ranking factor. User engagement with a listing is one of the many things Google is looking for. If a lot of users are clicking on a result lower down in the search listing instead of the result higher up then, logically, Google will want to give its users the more popular listing. This information signals Google’s algorithms that this should be ranked higher.

Google to avoid “Crowdsourcing” calculates “dwell time” on the site. Dwell Time’ is basically how long users spend on a webpage. If the user clicks to listing in google search and bounces off that page it adds no value. To benefit a website the clicked users must spend various amounts of time on the webpage or click further into the website.

These BLACK HAT SEO tactics are known by Google and they have built barriers to protect their search results. Google must protect search results or they endanger their Billion dollar empire. We recognize that all SEO tactics must remain in line with Google standards. MVI recommends to our clients to use inbound links from social media as the number 1 best method to improve your ranking in Google Algorithm and the 2nd most important ingredient is good quality original content.

In the last 5 months, we have seven major Google updates for SEOs, webmasters, and business owners. Penguin, Pirate and 4 others hit between July and October 30, 2014. I’m going to quickly provide bullets listing what we know so far and then jump to my findings based on the rollout. I want to explain what I’ve seen in the trenches, including recoveries, fresh hits, and other interesting tidbits I’ve seen. In addition. I’ll explain more about Penguin, Panda, and Pirate all roaming the web at the same time, and the confusion that can cause. To start these were the rollout the last 5 months:

Pirate 2.0 – October 21, 2014 – More than two years after the original DMCA/”Pirate” update, Google launched another update to combat software and digital media piracy. This update was highly targeted, causing dramatic drops in ranking to a relatively small group of sites.

Penguin 3.0 – October 17, 2014 – More than a year after the previous Penguin update (2.1), Google launched a Penguin refresh. This update appeared to be smaller than expected (<1% of US/English queries affected) and was probably data-only (not a new Penguin algorithm). The timing of the update was unclear, especially internationally, and Google claimed it was spread out over “weeks”.

“In The News” Box – October 2014 – Google made what looked like a display change to Newsbox results, but later announced that they had expanded news links to a much larger set of potential sites. The presence of news results in SERPs also spiked, and major news sites reported substantial traffic changes.

Panda 4.1 (#27) – September 23, 2014 – Google announced a significant Panda update, which included an algorithmic component. They estimated the impact at 3-5% of queries affected. Given the “slow rollout,” the exact timing was unclear.

Authorship Removed – August 28, 2014 – Following up on the June 28th drop of authorship photos, Google announced that they would be completely removing authorship markup (and would no longer process it). By the next morning, authorship bylines had disappeared from all SERPs.

HTTPS/SSL Update – August 6, 2014 – After months of speculation, Google announced that they would be giving preference to secure sites and that adding encryption would provide a “lightweight” rankings boost. They stressed that this boost would start out small, but implied it might increase if the changed proved to be positive.

Pigeon – July 24, 2014 – Google shook the local SEO world with an update that dramatically altered some local results and modified how they handle and interpret location cues. Google claimed that Pigeon created closer ties between the local algorithm and core algorithm

When Penguin and Panda first arrived on the scene, they shook up the search engine results pages in a necessary way. There was so much trash and spam out there. The purpose of these algorithm updates was to fix these spam problems. By putting into place systems that allowed them to devalue those who had been playing an unfair game, Google caused a major shakeup, with sites falling out of positions they “deserved” through hard work. This was, perhaps, the biggest fallacy of them all. These sites never did “deserve” those results. They were artificially placed there because of their shady practices.

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