Ethical Online SEO

Google’s War Against Search Engine Spam Your Desire for Increased Online

As far as natural search engine results go (from SEO not from PPC), it’s one thing to know how to get traffic, and it’s quite another to keep getting traffic.

It’s not the same search engine world it used to be.

If you’re not aware, read more about the problems of search engine spam (something that happened to one of our clients, UHD).

Ever on the cutting edge of quality search engine ranking, Google has been implementing more and more complicated criteria for the continued value of a web page over time. They put details about these methods in their United States Patent Application 20050071741 on December 31, 2003, and it became available for viewing online March 31, 2005.

Their improvements make it just about impossible to crack the Google code via surly and unsavory maneuvers. And thank goodness, because ethical SEO should succeed on the perfect Google of the future anyhow.

Google ranks your pages based on historical data.

Here’s how Google scores your web pages:

  • Content evaluation (text, link text, metas, etc.)
  • Freshness of page (your updates, or new links from other sites)
  • Reliability of the page in light of historical data – here they’re watching out for pages or sites being taken over by spammers

And here’s what determines the freshness of a web page:

  • Frequency of changes
  • Degree of change – probably percentage based
  • Keyword distribution/density changes
  • Number of links in from other pages/sites
  • Anchor (link) text changes
  • Number of new links out to low-trust web sites (such as affiliate sites)

Google knows that some info doesn’t need to be updated- but it will come back up if, e.g. it’s a seasonal topic like “winter gloves”.

Too fresh? How much change is too much?

Section 0128 of Google’s patent suggests you shouldn’t change the focus of multiple pages at once.

“A significant change over time in the set of topics associated with a document may indicate that the document has changed owners and previous document indicators, such as score, anchor text, etc., are no longer reliable.

“Similarly, a spike in the number of topics could indicate spam. For example, if a particular document is associated with a set of one or more topics over what may be considered a ‘stable’ period of time and then a (sudden) spike occurs in the number of topics associated with the document, this may be an indication that the document has been taken over as a ‘doorway’ document.

“Another indication may include the sudden disappearance of the original topics associated with the document. If one or more of these situations are detected, then [Google] may reduce the relative score of such documents and/or the links, anchor text, or other data associated the document.”

SEO consultant expert advice on ethical SEO principlesWise advice to Brian, an ancient SEO consultant whispers. And to you, if listen you will…

Your Wise Responses:

  • Follow good ethical SEO principles
  • Establish clear site theme
  • Keep pages and site ‘in character’. Don’t allow off-topic content
  • Don’t get caught up in any high search engine ranking fads.
    Use ethical SEO principles.
  • Don’t change too much of your content at one time. Do updates over time. Release versions of the pages daily if you’re doing an overhaul.

How Your Domain Name Affects your Rankings

According to the patent, Google is interested in:

  • Age of your domain … more or less than one year?
    Make sure you have paid for your domain name for the next 5 years or so.
  • Address of web site owner. Possibly for local search results.
    Make this reflect the business’s locale, if applicable.
  • Admin and technical contact info. Spam domains tend to change this info more often than companies change addresses.
    Don’t change your contact info.
  • Reliability of Your Host. Is their IP address associated with spam?
    Make sure your host is reputable before you give them your business.

How Google Watches People’s Reactions
to Your Site

Google monitors visitor click-through-rate via bookmarks, cache, favorites, and temporary files.

Google will reward sites with higher click through rates and stickiness.

According to the patent, Google records and monitors:

  • Click through rates for
    • Seasonality
    • Traffic increases and decreases (both fast and slow)
    • Stale/fresh pages- for a particular search phrase, do users prefer old or new info?
  • Searches volume
  • Web page rankings
  • Traffic to a web page
  • User behavior
  • Bookmarks and favorites for additions and deletions
  • Overall user behavior