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Getting smacked by Google is never fun, but when you run a multi-million dollar online business that generates much of its sales through Google's SERPs, a Google smack down can be downright painful.
Just ask Ryan Abood, who runs GourmetGiftBaskets.com. According to a profile by Inc. Magazine, Abood lost $4m when his GourmetGiftBaskets.com was dropped from Google's index in 2008, right before the most important time of the year -- the holidays.
How bad is the newspaper business hurting? If the shameless link selling the Express Group is engaging in on its websites is any indication, newspapers have it pretty bad.
The sales team at the Express Group has been sending emails to SEOs promoting the company's "SEO advertorials", which are little more than keyword-rich articles published on Express.co.uk, DailyStar.co.uk and Ok.co.uk that the Express Group is willing to pepper with paid links.
I don't provide SEO services these days, but every once in a while, a friend or associate asks for some advice. I usually respond with the same high-level (and somewhat useless) stuff: structure your pages and internal links well, produce great content, execute a strategy to acquire high-quality, relevant backlinks and don't worry so much about the things you can't control. But more and more, I've become inclined to ask "Do you really want to know?"
While I've never been under the illusion that blackhat SEO was 'defeated', I've become increasingly resigned to the idea that it's far worse than most of us can imagine and Google just doesn't care as much as it says it does.
British police have shut down more than 1,200 websites selling fake designer clothing in jewelry in the past week. And along with those websites, they've taken out some of Google's top results.
Thanks to a tweet tip, the aftermath of Scotland Yard's crackdown can be seen with a Google UK search for 'ugg boots'. As I write this, no less than seven of the top 10 results on the first page for this search are inaccessible. One of the websites that can't be accessed includes the top-ranked site: okuggboots.co.uk.
On the internet, few companies receive more attention than Google. And for good reason: Google touches so many individuals and businesses. From search to its 'side projects', just about everything Google does creates interest.
Google's prominence, not surprisingly, has led to the creation of many myths. Here are my top five.
Paid links are something I've written about lately as the possibility of Twitter data being incorporated into the Google and Bing search indexes has raised the spectre of a much more complicated situation vis-à-vis paid links.
In the case of Google, the rules are clear: paid links are bad. If you get caught buying or selling them, you could find yourself in a world of hurt. But just how good is Google at detecting paid links? If the example I'm about to give is any indication, it's not good at all.
Now that Google and Bing have access to Twitter's firehose, the speculation about over how Twitter data could eventually be used as a search engine ranking factor has begun.
Since there's not a whole lot of text (and context) in 140 character tweets, it seems likely that if Google and Bing want to use Twitter as some sort of ranking factor, they'll look to the links that are spread on Twitter and who is spreading them.
If you're an entrepreneur, or budding entrepreneur, making money online can sometimes seem like a real challenge. In my opinion, that's often because entrepreneurs focus on the wrong thing. They want to create a 'startup' and become the next Facebook or Twitter.
That's a tall order and, for most of us, a recipe for disappointment. But if you're willing to start out small and work hard, profit on the internet isn't so elusive.
I received an email the other day, which caused me some significant concern. It was a request, which came out of the blue, asking me to consider to be paid for featuring certain content on my personal blog.
For me, this is a very unwanted and somewhat scandalous approach and I sincerely hope other bloggers feel the same way. If you think about it, it is a very seedy means to encourage independent people who take the time to blog about subjects they care about, to succumb to the incentive of money.
Google relies on media links to calculate PageRank, a gauge of website authority. These links bring order to search results, which is why everyone uses Google, which is why they make so much money. Brands therefore need media links to achieve SEO success in Google, which is fair enough.
But what do media owners get for providing the authority map behind Google’s meteoric rise? Plummeting advertising revenues as Google hoovers up the lot. This seems a bit of a kick in the teeth, but what can they do about it?
Every two years, SEO consultancy and publisher SEOmoz publishes a Search Engine Ranking Factors report that details which ranking factors some of the world's top SEOs think are hot and not. The latest Search Engine Ranking Factors report was published in August.
I spoke with Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz, about the 2009 Ranking Factors report, the dilemma of paid links and how social media is changing SEO.
Paid links have been and still are a popular SEO technique and it's not hard to understand why: they promise instant gratification to those who can't wait for results. Unfortunately, paid links are not in favor with search engines for obvious reasons and those who employ them today do so at significant risk.
As the importance of social media becomes more apparent to businesses both large and small, it's no surprise that the desire for instant gratification is rearing its ugly head in the form of 'paid friends'.