In 2012, the web grew, shifted, and changed more quickly than ever. In addition to increased traffic, Google and other search engines have changed the face of the web by introducing improvements to existing search engine optimization (SEO) technology as well as some new innovative web tools. Several of these have rocked the SEO professional’s world by creating a significant paradigm shift in website development.
Reputation and Trust
Search engines have armed themselves with new and improved methods to promote sites that not only have good quality content but also integrity and accuracy while punishing those that exhibit fraudulent or other bad behavior by not listing them in search results. Google’s ramped up use of Penguin, Panda, and Caffeine has been key in identifying and dealing with problems, such as webspam, too many static ads above the fold, or DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) violations.
RESULT: In 2012 Google began sending “your site will not be listed” notifications to webmasters when problems were detected – sometimes 350,000/month. Also, Google ignores sites it has deemed untrustworthy.
Good Content Availability
Google’s Caffeine has improved indexing because of its increased and continuous scanning capacity. Effectively, this makes available very fresh, up-to-date content for searchers. Now a user can search for and quickly find data about current events.
In order to recover from penalty notices and being ignored, webmasters have had to remove bad content and replace it with useful, well-crafted pieces while, at the same time, creating distinctions in what is nearly duplicate material.
Rocking the SEO World
Google has become more successful at identifying over optimization (too many keywords and/or too many site-wide links on one page), especially when these are off-topic;
Developed better ways of handling multiple listings of the same website: Now it automatically combines data from multiple pages of a domain and designates one to head the list;
Made a target of low-quality exact match domains;
Used its improved filtering techniques to identify and ban parked domains and scraper sites;
Infographics are now penalized when they are misleading and/or wrong;
Blogs that are written to increase the number of links on a page are considered webspam; don’t do it. Instead, Google has encouraged sites with blogs designed to get more information out to a larger audience.
All told, Google clearly has positioned itself to increase its ability to generate and increase its income by improving the users’ experience of the famous Google search engine. Contact your SEO professional to be sure your website has been keeping pace. In the coming weeks, we’ll write in more detail about the most important segments of this effort.