When a number of articles appeared on leading tech blogs over the last few weeks criticizing prevalent ‘Google Spam,’ it was inevitable that Google would respond quickly and forcefully. Google’s Head of Webspam, Matt Cutts, wrote last week on Googleblog that his team was targeting ‘content farms’ and later acknowledged an algorithm change on his personal blog directed against spam results from duplicate content scrapers. This is consistent with Google’s webmaster guidelines: relevant original content, well-optimized, no tricks. At BrightEdge, we are comforted in that all our customers are focusing on 100% "Google approved" White Hat SEO for their sites. Take for example what FolioDynamix said upon selecting BrightEdge as its SEO platform:
Other vendors tried to sell us on their paid link services, which surprised us since that practice can get our site penalized by search engines. BrightEdge was the obvious choice as an invaluable, trusted platform.
Since 2003, Google has consistently and explicitly stated that paid links violate their guidelines. We can’t say this firmly enough: Paid links and Black Hat SEO will be toxic to your search ranking - and potentially to your business. If you are not absolutely certain that your site is ‘White Hat,’ you should urgently review your site policies – including those of your agencies and consultants. How do you keep tabs on your SEO team’s techniques and keep them within Google’s guidelines? Let us know in the comments below. Update Matt Cutts tweeted that Bruce Clay's post last week on the urgent need for webmasters to drop paid links is "a good summary." As Clay wrote, “For the benefit of everyone, I am turning the volume knob on this warning all of the way to 11. And, no, I am not crying wolf." That's as close to a clear warning from Google as a webmaster could ever hope to get.