I have both good news and bad news to tell you.
So since I like leaving on a high, let’s start with the BAD news…
Google has been very busy lately working with a LOT of new updates to their algorithm.
As we should all know by now their “war on web spam” has now become an outright war on anyone who does SEO.
If you go take a look at the threads on the Google Webmaster Forums you’ll see pages upon pages of “legitimate” quality websites getting punished and penalized by Google for “over optimization”.
Now, I personally DISAGREE with Google’s stance on over optimization, I mean, the definition of optimization according to dictionary.com is:
1. the fact of optimizing; making the best of anything.
2. the condition of being optimized.
3. Mathematics . a mathematical technique for finding a maximum or minimum value of a function of several variables subject to a set of constraints, as linear programming or systems analysis.
As you can see, you can’t “over optimize” anything, as it would directly conflict with the definition of the word.
But having said that, the sad reality is that Google is on it’s war path and they are stopping at nothing to destroy what they perceive to be as SPAM.
I am of the opinion that the guys at Google probably thought this “you know what? A lot of these spammy websites use backlinks and get a lot of them to rank, so let’s just target these guys and we should wipe out most of the people who we hate so much – it doesn’t matter if we take down thousands of other legitimate websites as long as we hit most of the guys we hate”.
So that’s what they did…
I think I mentioned this already, but for those uninitiated, let me tell you this again.
What’s even more scary now is that the negative SEO scenario that I mentioned as being totally scary and crazy in my previous blog post here, is now a REALITY.
Since Google Penguin is targeting backlinks incoming to your site. That means your competitors can in fact nuke your website and your rankings…
Yes, this is an all out war and there gigs on Fiverr.com for negative SEO and other services to destroy your competition already.
It is actually really sad to see this in my opinion and I think Google is starting to really start making webmasters turn against them in a way they have never done before.
Now having said that, it’s not ALL bad news…
Because remember, I said I had GOOD news for you!
So what is it?
Well the good news is that the Google algorithm is simply an algorithm. That means it was programmed and created by people. This means there are rules and procedures it has to follow (by definition that’s how algorithms work). This means that it can be understood enough for the average webmaster to be able to figure out how to create websites that will not be affected by it.
Well I have even better news, Rob Wiser has actually recorded two high quality videos detailing our thoughts regarding the Penguin update after spending hours and hours of research on this topic and interviewing other SEO experts and ninjas in this field.
All you have to do is just check out the videos below!
NOTE: Here is the free validation tool that Rob mentions in the video. Use it to run a scan of your site and check for broken links and other problems that will annoy Google: http://validator.w3.org/
I’m glad to say that after all these updates my websites overall have INCREASED in traffic. Sure there were websites that were affected negatively, but on the whole my traffic actually increased around 20% after all this craziness.
That’s not to say I support Google and like what they are doing. I really do think you need to think of your business for the long term and start looking for traffic sources beyond Google, otherwise you will be building your business on something worse than sand.
At least sand doesn’t turn around and then RETROSPECTIVELY punishes you for something else that SOMEONE else could do to you (Grrr! I shake my fist at Google for their actions).
If you’re interested in checking out what we did in order to stay unaffected by all these Google updates, then you should check out our Google Resurrection guide. It’s now been updated to include both information about Panda and Google and what we did in order to survive them. Click here to check it out!