Google is combating SEO’s for attempting to “game” their system, by heavily penalizing their sites. I’ve been reading about a few sites that have only used 100% White Hat Tactics and followed Google Best Practices exactly; yet they’re buried in the search engines. I understand the penalizing for spammy behavior, such as excessive links, keyword stuffing, cloaking, and any other Black Hat Methods; but it really isn’t make sense how many “good” sites are being punished.
Oddly enough, not one of my dozens of clients shifted in the search engines from this update. A few of my personal test sites are bouncing around, but that’s because they’re test sites, and I’ve tried out a few different strategies on them. I had a client sign on yesterday, the 26th, and the Google Update happened earlier on the 24th. We’d been talking before then, and I had been tracking their ranks and it’s crazy how significantly they moved in one day. It’s definitely going to be an uphill battle to get them to return, but by pushing the White Hat SEO, and using a few of my power techniques; I hope to bring them back up to the top of their market over the next few months.
The SEO Tools Are Broken
There’s tons of SEO tools on the market that provide a score on the quality of your On Page Optimization. Google looks in specific places on a website for page relevancy, and these tools make sure you have the right words in the right places. However, in the update, they’re actually punishing sites that have done their On Page SEO too well. It’s the Over Optimization Penalty, and right now the only way to fix it seems to be de-optimizing your site.
Obviously you don’t want to remove all optimization, but my suggestion is to lighten up your keyword use and make a more effective usage of synonyms and related terms. For one of my test sites, the main keyword has Wikipedia ranking in the number one position. It’s quite a long page, so I went down and took note of all the hyperlinks and titles within the page. Google is going to see these words on the #1 ranked site, and then see them on my page as well. I don’t think you can do any better than that for keyword relevancy.
Google messed up bad with this one. Many “innocent” sites got punished, but I’m sure that plenty of “guilty” sites moved as well. My guess is that they’ll be backpedaling and undo a lot of the changes. However, I wouldn’t wait it out. I’d make the On Page SEO Changes now, as that seems to be the direction they’re heading in. Think of this as a “heads up,” for what’s to come and position your site to rank well both now and in the future.
I may add an update to this post, as more news comes out about what Google is doing.
Thanks. ~Ryan England -Executive SEO