Is Search Engine Optimization Still Relevant in 2013?
Search Engine Optimization is a field that is as old as the concept of the Internet.
The idea was born with the need to rank pages higher on search engines so that users would be able to view them. With this, there were many underhanded and non-beneficial strategies implemented. Many of these techniques resulted in users landing on pages that had no valuable content. Users became increasing frustrated, and Google wasn’t generating as much revenue per their potential. This is why Google began to revamp its criteria for search page ranking, which is why users now have Penguin and Panda Updates.
Has Google Panda and Penguin Changed SEO Significantly?
Over time, Google began working towards improving the quality of search results by penalizing websites that used what they termed Black Hat SEO. The last couple of years have seen Google revamp its search algorithm almost completely. Panda and Penguin introductions surprised everyone, but the question to ask is: have they really changed SEO as comprehensively as they claimed to?
After Google launched new versions of its search engine algorithm, search engine optimizers wondered how they could tackle these changes. While they still work their tricks, they have been compelled to modify their strategies. Some argue that they have been compelled to think of innovative ways to work around Google’s updates, while others claim not much has actually changed other than SEO turning out to be more specialized. They claim that their SEO techniques essentially remain the same.
Expert Views about What Google Accepts
Ken O’Donnell, a veteran web developer, of KO Websites, was qouted on Forbs.com saying, “We don’t use old-style linking strategy anymore.” However, many SEO geeks are still using modified versions of old tricks; they may not be using them as prolifically as they did in the past, but they are still using them.
O’Donnell further asserts what Google recommends when he says: “We use social websites, blog post and press releases and attempt to write compelling content that brings visitors back to our client’s website.” However, SEO experts believe that along with Google’s recommended legitimate practices, they can still using things like keyword articles for article submission sites and directories. The level and quality of the content that goes into these articles is, however, questionable, and it is suspected that Google might be overlooking this.
It could be argued that SEO article writers are now more aware of the need for quality. They avoid indulging in inferior article content stuffed with keywords. Yet, some SEO experts believe that keyword stuffing is still defeating what Google recommends.
Are SEO Teams Still Gaming the System?
While one might argue that there is a huge change in the way SEO experts worked before, some things are the same for the time being at least. Some experts on Google believed that Penguin and Panda updates would render every other effort futile, apart from what Ken O’Donnell mentions: social websites, blog post, press releases and compelling content. While O’Donnell’s words are valid, currently there are other efforts going hand-in-hand. SEO experts stand testimony to this, as they continue to operate unrestricted. It’s not clear how long they may be able to operate this way; at one time or another, Google algorithm is bound to catch and penalize the websites they have been working on.
When Penguin and Panda were introduced, experts on Google’s side argued that SEO as we know it would demise, and that all efforts aside from the few mentioned above would no longer exist. While some have begun to doubt Google’s recommendations, lately some sites have been being penalized. Slowly and steadily it appears that Google’s algorithm is running a check on all sites. It would, therefore, be wise for website owners to exercise caution and not use methods that are not recommended by Google. Instead, it’s highly advisable to adhere to producing valuable content that would genuinely benefit your viewers.