“Our advice for webmasters is to focus on creating high quality sites that create a good user experience and employ white hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive webspam tactics.”
So says Google’s Matt Cutts in a blog post written yesterday afternoon, which sets out how ‘black hat webspam’ SEO practices are about to be slammed yet again by another algorithm update, due to come into play over the next few days. It means great quality content is more important than ever.
Quality content rules the roost
Which sites will be affected?
The post mentions keyword stuffing, content spinning, irrelevant links and link building schemes by name and adds: “In the pursuit of higher rankings or traffic, a few sites use techniques that don’t benefit users, where the intent is to look for short cuts or loopholes that would rank pages higher than they deserve to be to be ranked.”
What SEO techniques does Google approve of?
“Effective search engine optimization can make a site more crawlable and make individual pages more accessible and easier to find. Search engine optimization includes things as simple as keyword research to ensure that the right words are on the page”
White hat SEO works to support site usability, creates great content and makes sites faster, all of which is good for users and search engines. Good SEO practices can also indicate good marketing. Making a site more compelling encourages greater awareness, which “can translate into more people linking to or visiting a site.”
What does it mean for small business owners?
In Cutts’ words, “We want people doing white hat search engine optimization (or even no search engine optimization at all) to be free to focus on creating amazing, compelling web sites. As always, we’ll keep our ears open for feedback on ways to iterate and improve our ranking algorithms toward that goal”.
Quality content means:
- well written
- entertaining / interesting / exciting / inspirational
What to do next?
Keep an eye on your site’s rankings over the next few days. If you notice a drop in your search positions, you can:
- replace spun, duplicate, irrelevant or bad quality on-site content with good quality stuff
- attempt to clear up your back-link profile by requesting the removal of suspect inbound links to your site
- dedicate yourself to updating your site regularly with more good stuff in future
- dream up creative ways to make your site more attractive and popular
- reject SEO experts who claim they’ll get you on page 1 of Google in record time
Want to know more?
Here’s a link to the full article: Another step to reward high quality sites.