Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Death of SEO, Egg-Stuffing, King Content & Superfluous Back Links

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Google is constantly evolving to protect the integrity of it's search results. They have imposed a number of policies, one of them penalizing paid links that "DoFollow" to low ranking sites.

After being asked twice to remove links (unpaid, mind you) to different sites, I'm enlightened to the understanding that Google is now penalizing sites with too many back links as an indication of "manipulating" search engines.

So now what? What of the companies established in SEO expertise that promise to infuse links in blogs everywhere? I was constantly contacted by such persons as a blogger, who wanted to "insert" a link or "sponsor" a post. Admittedly, I knew very little of Google's policy when communicating with them. I always felt put-off by their requests and an agreement never really came to fruition.

Thank goodness for intuition.

I've since added a "Do Not Contact" of sorts directed to SEO strategists looking to buy links. If you're a blogger concerned about your page rank, I would advise you to avoid the same.

Have companies invested thousands of dollars towards search engine optimization only to have it possibly back-fire on them? Very possible.

But this is a very good indication that companies and bloggers alike shouldn't put too many of their eggs in one basket.

I include bloggers in this scenario, because of this perfect example: Google Friend Connect.

For years, bloggers invested time, energy and blog hops to increase their GFC numbers to proudly display the number of followers in order to attract sponsors and advertisers. GFC was a beautiful thing. You could connect with other bloggers and those who had a GFC profile, even more, you could create a quick newsletter, direct email marketing in other words, to your followers. The impact of GFC's ability to engage was pretty powerful. But then, the powers that be, decided that GFC had ran it's course. The blog sphere was in an uproar. Those who did not have Blogspot blogs, would no longer be able to display, or use their GFC. It was a very painful thing for those who had thousands of followers. Those who did have Blogspot blogs were still able to display their followers, but the ability for direct contact was lost.

Another example came to my attention recently. A business was encouraging reviews on their Facebook page. While I suppose they were trying to control the amount of back links to their site by directing reviews to their Facebook page, it's still a scenario of "egg-stuffing". Ultimately, Facebook owns Facebook...they've made that abundantly clear. If Facebook goes down, guess what, so do all of the glowing reviews.

By the way, does anyone still use My Space? ...Seriously... I'd like to know.

Spread out your eggs as evenly as possible, by deciding what nests would work best for your company in terms of social media. However, the indisputable fact will always be this; content will always be king. Google wants this and crafts policies specifically to preserve this royalty.

In light of Google's Big Brother stance on back links, you can still use the world wide web to promote your product, you's the best platform you'll ever have. There are ways to incur honest reviews without back links, should you find yourself on Google's bad side in this regard. As mentioned earlier, I was asked to remove a review post because of superfluous back links. Instead of removing the post, a pretty good one that brought a reasonable amount of traffic, I removed the links and directed readers to their site this way:


Just give Google what they want...quality, ethical content. Do this by finding quality, ethical bloggers who will really LOVE your product and build a positive, mutual relationship with them. Better yet, create your own blog! Many companies are doing this to a great deal of success. Blog content is a effective way to communicate, engage and gain customers...if it's done correctly. A word to the wise, you'll want someone who has had direct experience in blogging and community-building, some one who understands FTC regulations, health disclaimers (if applicable), Facebook and Twitter policies for reviews and giveaways.

Google policy by Google policy SEO is dying a slow, but certain death. The new SEO is media optimization.

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