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As search marketers, we know that there are proven methods of improving our page rank such as creating unique and relevant content with the right keywords, promoting this content, and building links from the domains that matter.
These are methods that have been used for the past ten years and while, these methods have been quite effective, SEO is more complex today.
The rise of social media as an effective SEO tool, the growing competitiveness of SEO, and tough guidelines by search engines, call for a re-evaluation of how we have been doing SEO.
At a conference earlier this year, Hollywood big wig Ari Emanuel suggested that Google could do more to thwart digital piracy by helping to ensure that pirated content doesn't find its way into the world's largest and most popular search engine.
At the time, a Google executive called Emanuel's suggestion "very misinformed" and noted that identifying who owns content is not always an easy task.
But apparently behind the scenes, Google was far more amenable to the concept than it indicated publicly. In a post on Google's Inside Search blog on Friday, Google SVP Amit Singhal announced that the company has launched a new update that may ensure Google's top executives get invites to all of Hollywood's red carpet events.
Before going on, I want to make one thing clear. I am not setting out to be intentionally provocative with this article. It goes without saying that there are some excellent freelance search experts able to offer their clients first class advice in how to plan and execute an SEO strategy.
Instead, I am driven by helping those buying digital marketing services, SEO in particular, to make more informed decisions when sourcing external partners and agencies.
I am passionate about SEO, and digital marketing more generally, but I also understand it has its pitfalls, the main one being the complex, crowded and confusing market for SEO services.
As such, my purpose is not to antagonise the world of freelance SEO but to simply encourage buyers to question whether it is realistic for a freelancer to deliver every aspect of a highly effective SEO strategy on their own.
Yesterday, we attended the Amazon Web Services Summit in New York where Dr Werner Vogels, CTO, Amazon, gave the keynote speech highlighting how cloud services will transform how we do business.
Though some critics think cloud services may have unforeseen challenges, Vogals somewhat salesy keynote also had representatives of companies using Amazon cloud services come to the stage to say why the cloud is enabling their businesses to do things they could never do before.
As these (and most) businesses are discovering, a data revolution is taking place. The amount of information we need to process, map and store is growing at exponential rates. So in comes cloud services.
Can you ever have too much of a good thing? According to Google, the answer is 'yes' when it comes to SEO.
In the past couple of years, the search giant has made a concerted effort to improve the quality of its index.
Now Google is apparently set to take its efforts one step further by targeting pages and sites it deems have been over-optimised.
Google’s Panda update was a direct attack on bad content, which comes in many different flavours, including duplicate, weak, thin and template.
Panda acts like a domain wide penalty, so your whole site is affected and your good pages are dragged down by your bad pages.
This is a guide on how to find and fix Google's Panda algorithm update, based on our Panda fighting experience at SEOgadget in 2011.
For companies hit by Google's Panda updates, the search giant's approach to cleaning up its index may seem quite unfair.
But if Google has been aggressive with Panda, its efforts appear to be no match when compared to Microsoft's efforts to increase index quality on Bing. Need proof? Just ask CyberMonday.com, which is run by the National Retail Federation's Shop.org.
When it comes to the former, Google may be considering an interesting approach: penalize pages that it believes have too many ads.
Love them or hate them, content farms are a reality on today's web. Thanks to the strength of the search economy, savvy upstart publishers realized that there was money to be made mass-producing search engine-friendly content on the cheap.
But content farming's success may have been its downfall. As the SERPs filled up with articles of dubious value, search engines have fought back. Some went so far as to ban well-known content farms from their indexes.
Banning large, prominent sites is, for obvious reasons, a challenging proposition for Google. But it too has fought back hard against content farms using ts algorithm.
While the verdict is out as to whether it's changes are improving search quality on the world's largest search engine, it appears that some content farmers are adjusting their businesses.
Google's Panda update was designed to eliminate spam and content farm content, thus improving the quality of Google's index and SERPs.
Many sites caught in Panda's grip claim that they were unintended victims of the update, and have sought ways to recover.
Talk to publishers about Google's Panda update, and chances are you'll find at least a few who haven't had a pleasant experience.
Google's goal of cleaning up its index may be desirable, and perhaps even necessary, but many publishers feel their legitimate websites were collateral damage.