There is something great about working with Google Web Guidelines. They help to turn SEO from an industry that focuses on mechanics to fool search engines to an industry focused on the customer. It’s good to feel that a large element of my job is advising clients on how best they can prepare their sites for their customers and how this will in turn be brilliant news for their SEO.
But are Google doing enough? No. Well not yet anyway.
It’s all very good to have Panda and Penguin updates and tell everyone that black hat techniques are dead and will be penalised but how effective are they? I have tracked websites that employ link wheel backlink profiles, spam filled page content and over optimised linking that have gone from strength to strength no matter how many cute animals Google throw at them.
These techniques should no longer work. They are easy to spot with the knowledge of a few tools or a quick look at their page source. In practice however these techniques do still have some SEO purchase and in certain SERPs they still appear to rule.
Google can still be fooled but you would be a fool to carry on down that path. It isn’t sustainable. That’s what Google says and I agree with them, but this is a delicate time. You can still get quick wins using old techniques. That means sales now, new business, more market share and better exposure right now. Just not maybe in a few months, or a year or, well whenever Google actually get around to catching you out.
Penguin 2.1 is another move in the right direction but for those of us helping clients to change their ways and appreciate what SEO has become I’m eagerly awaiting Google Rhino. Penguins just don’t pack enough punch to deliver on Google’s stated goals. If we want cleaner, better SERPs then we need to see braver updates that hit harder and trample into dust the legacy of black hat SEO.
Penguins are cute but, no one messes with a Rhino!