Recently, there’s been a little upheaval in the SEO world due to the fact that Google’s making an arbitrary decision to weed out sites that are “overly” search engine optimized. Kind of ironic that they would punish sites that were trying to appease the search gods more than others. Nevertheless, they’re doing it or will be doing it here in the near future. In particular, they are contradicting or reversing one of the major tenants of what Sergei Brin and Larry Page set out with back in 1999 with their original “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine.” Basically, in their first “Design Goal”, they mentioned they wanted to carry out “Improved Search Quality.” (Personally, I think this original idea was one of the main reasons that helped Google dominate the search world today) The last two lines of the paragraph addressing this desired improvement said:
There is quite a bit of recent optimism that the use of more hypertextual information can help improve search and other applications [Marchiori 97] [Spertus 97] [Weiss 96] [Kleinberg 98]. In particular, link structure [Page 98] and link text provide a lot of information for making relevance judgments and quality filtering. Google makes use of both link structure and anchor text (see Sections 2.1 and 2.2).
Basically, they were saying that search engines could find “better results” if websites could be ordered by an algorithm which examined the anchor text in the links to websites. It was the foundation of their search engine algorithm, IMHO. But according to Matt Cutts at SXSW recently, it sounds like they’re going to punish websites who potentially have more keyword rich anchor text or sites that appear to have backlinks with too much anchor text. This means “overly seo optimized” are at risk of being devalued here in the next few weeks or months.
So, what does this mean? Well, I’m thinking it’s going to frustrate MANY SEO’s and Affiliate website companies because they are somewhat dependent on a bit of this link building and have been for the past 12 years. A few “blog networks” have already been punished (i.e., de-indexed) including Build My Rank, ALN, LAN, and DiamondLinks from a number of sources including the websites themselves. We may see more fallout here this month, next and the month after it appears.
Nevertheless, what can we do about it beyond worrying that the sky is falling? Well, we’ve always been big believers in the long term of search engine marketing and have done our best to preach the tenants of long term content and credibility building. It’s why our founder, Brandon Na always refers to the 2 C’s of SEO when trying to introduce the concept of SEO to clients or new students of the discipline. However, we think it would be wise to also add that there should be more reading and studying of what the future of search is looking like.
Search in the Future Video straight from the Horse’s Mouth
Is “Relevancy” an outdated model?
Beyond the video, there’s many additional theories and viewpoints about what “search” will be like in the future. Some are questioning if the “relevancy” model is enough for the search results. Others are asking “what is the true intent of the searcher” and can it be delivered? It can be argued that the original model of “relevancy” could simply adjust to the intents of the many people who search on the web into the future. However, there’s still a lot of debate like the one’s taking place between the many Google engineers, program managers, QA analysts and other team members at their HQ that are trying to make their search engine better (like the following):
Constantly “Search” for what “Search” will be
So, our recommendation is to constantly keep updated on this by doing as much reading in SEOMoz, Search Engine Land and other great websites out there. Or, if you don’t have the time to keep up and constantly be on alert for the big changes google or other search engines will be applying to all the search results, you can obviously talk to us or other great SEO firms out there to help you keep up to date. That $1000 or 2000 a month might be a lot cheaper than suffering even more financial loss because you didn’t keep up at the wrong time.