Google Algo Changes – Is SEO Dead?

is seo deadAnother week another Algo change , at least that’s what it seems  like. It seems that yesterday google instigated some major changes to the algorithm which targeted Build My Rank (BMR) and possibly other private blog networks.

However there are also plans in place for Google to target “overly optimized sites”

You read that right, google are planning on targeting sites that are obviously seo’d.

I haven’t bothered to check how bmr has affected me yet as google choose to instigate these changes while I was flying to Barcelona . So much for me having a few days away from IM!

I can’t honestly say that I am too surprised by BMR being targetted once you get that well known  you will appear on googles Radar and then it’s only a matter of time.

The first thing I’ll say is that I am very impressed at how the guys at BMR handled the deindexing of their sites, in the past many network owners have kept things quite and not made things public. In this case in what must have been trying circumstances (they had just lost a major income source and hundreds of blogs) they immediately posted the situation on their blog.

I’ve recommended and used BMR myself in the past so I am sure some of my sites have been  affected but that’s the price you need to be prepared to pay if you use tools to get back links. On the other hand I’ve been receiving plenty of ranking data from sites that usually don’t rank well so it seems that sites I’ve neglected have been rising up the ranks today (or more likely staying stable while others around them are dropping)
I really do feel that there is way too much focus on the BMR issues, I think that people should be paying more attention to what Matt Cutts said at SXSW

What about the people optimizing really hard and doing a lot of SEO. We don’t normally pre-announce changes but there is something we are working in the last few months and hope to release it in the next months or few weeks. We are trying to level the playing field a bit. All those people doing, for lack of a better word, over optimization or overly SEO – versus those making great content and great site. We are trying to make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links or go well beyond what you normally expect. We have several engineers on my team working on this right now.

Source

As i’ve been saying for  a very long time good quality content is the key to ranking your site. Quality content leads to people naturally linking to you and naturally sharing your content.

SEO isn’t dead yet but you need to examine what you are doing and if it’s really necessary. For example are Anchor text links still required? The original reason for anchor text was to indicate to google what the page the anchor text pointed to was about. Google has come a long way since then and knows what your page is aboubt without with your help.

Food for thought!

Let me know what you think below

(apologies for any typos, I am writing this on my iPhone over a coffee in Barcalona, I’ll clean it up on Friday when I get in the office)

Comments

  1. says

    Great post Mark. I would like to also say that SEO is not going to die anytime. SEO is just changing and by that it could mean more social signals vs backlinks, as an example.
    Quality Content is ‘King’ ONLY if it resonates with your audience. It is clear that google is killing any type of artificial ranking manipulation. So, if you write to please your audience, it would be a win win (you please your audience and in return they like- share- tweet your content).
    The sky is not falling it is just some sunset and tomorrow is going to be a new day, new ideas, and new Know Hows.
    Rob recently posted..Tracking Events – Consider This When Doing Social MediaMy Profile

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  2. says

    Since BMR is dead..many new private network are coming into picture who are also asking people to sign NDA, which is a good idea…Though I still doubt, how Google is going to differentiate between thin line of White hat-Grey hat and Black hat SEO.. ..
    Mark any idea..How Google is going to categorize Over optimization SEO factors?
    Harsh Agrawal recently posted..SEO Over Optimization Penalty : The Axe Hangs but over whom ?My Profile

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    Mark
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    And google is going to abide with an NDA.. Sounds like clutching at straws to me. I all honesty how is a network owner going to enforce an NDA especially with IM’s being spread all over the world

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  3. says

    I just loved it when you said that you were writing this over a coffee in Barcelona – the IM life eh! nice.. OK, so once again we come back to doing things as naturally as possible, which is what it should be anyway, good relevant content and a good user experience…

    Weirdly Ive noticed some of my sites doing well again that havent been touched for a while.. but also a rise in sites that had some recent seo done on them but not for about a month, so I wonder how long G have been gathering data or how far back they’ve included data for the purpose of adjusting the rankings… makes you wonder… perhaps their recent algo update has only included sites that did XYZ backlinking in the past 4 weeks for example… anyway I dont suppose that matters.
    Shaun Baird recently posted..Progress Report For February 2012My Profile

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  4. says

    Mark I heard the audio last week and I thought to myself that Google are once againg moving the goal posts and by doing so have pushed the webmaster/blog owner more into the dark.

    Blog owners and webmasters need to start diversifying their traffic. Google is not the only place to get traffic.

    But for me Mark I am just building a list and creating content for my readers and not for search engines.
    Robert recently posted..The New Google Update That Kills SEOMy Profile

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  5. says

    Mark, you are absolutely right, but you know today i am shocked after reading new post on Blogger Buzz official blog.
    They announced Search Preference Setting – a new option in Blogger com, in which you can set SEO Description and that’s great. That means, google still continues with SEO
    Salman Khan recently posted..Bodyguard 2011 Movie Video SongsMy Profile

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  6. says

    I actually think all this may end up being a good thing.

    It will kill a lot of income for some people and will hurt, but I remember the big clean out they had (cost me $2k a month) when they killed off loads of MFA sites. It made a lot of us diversify and build a more solid business.

    With new people coming online all the time and looking to IM to make money maybe this is the kick in the pants we need to elevate our business.
    paul forcey recently posted..The Deindexing Has StartedMy Profile

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  7. says

    I’m still a newb at the SEO thing so I appreciate the info. What I can say is since Google’s newest algorithm change many of my sites are now on the first page of Google and about half are in the #1 or #2 spot. I hadn’t gotten to the back-linking yet. I guess that was a good thing for me. This was very exciting since before I either couldn’t find them or they were like number 45. lol

    I’m sure those rankings won’t last and is just some kind of fluke but I have to admit that it was pretty exciting.
    Sue recently posted..A Look At Different Medicinal Herbs And Their UsesMy Profile

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    Mark
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    Sue I’ve several unloved and abandoned site start to rank well recently, I think google have leveled the playing field

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