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Did Google mess things up or was it really the SEO Agencies?

Were Google's Penguin and Panda updates an inappropriate knee-jerk reaction?

An awful lot of people have had a monumental load of sleepless nights following the Google Penguin and Panda updates. But has Google been unfair or is someone else to blame for the difficult positions businesses have found themselves in after plummeting down the organic search results?

In my opinion Google has done nothing wrong, but do you need to blame most (not all) of the SEO agencies for your search engine woes?
Take a quick look at the Google Webmaster Guidelines and you'll be met with a relatively simple description to help you understand exactly what Google wants. As a piece of advice it really doesn't get any easier than this... build a good website, fill it full of great information about your business and the subjects around your business... that's it, that's all you have to do.

Why your SEO choice has stabbed you in the back.

If you choose not to follow these simple requests from Google then move to Option B, search engine optimisation which involves making minor (impotent) adjustments to your online elements in an attempt to fool the search engine into ranking your website higher than it deserves. This is clearly a cheat, an unashamed attempt to jump the queue without any validity. You have now joined the decade-long game of cat and mouse in order to try and gain a larger share of your market.

Why Google had to react so harshly.

So, when Google finally instigated the most profound algorithm changes it has ever developed this was a defensive response designed to protect its most valuable asset... accurate organic search engine results. But don't take my word for it, take it from one of the ex key members of Google's Search Quality Team, Matt Cutts. You need to read what he has to say and take it very, very seriously indeed!

Whose fault is it?

So who is to blame? Google? SEO agencies? Or you? By trying to cheat the system have you become a major liability to your business?
That's not for me to answer... only you know for sure.

Your website needs a new, stronger web content strategy designed for a new semantic search environment.

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    Hi Steve,
    It is a good attempt to make SEO agencies/consultants aware that they themselves are responsible for this chain reaction of algorithms. As you told here and everyone in SEO knows “What Google wants is just to build a good website”. Let me tell you that Google’s standards are way too high when they mean a “Good website” because now your site must have great piece of content. And to convince your client to add more content rich pages is really a hard nut to crack. Small business owners look at you like you are talking with them in French or any alien language. Still it is unsure that adding content rich pages will give you higher rankings or not. This is a confusing situation for all small time business owners.
    I hope you’ll understand this scenario and what’s your take on this??? (Link to Honeymoon Package Blog Post)




      Hi, thanks for your comments which I think are honest and indicative of the market we operate in. It is very typical of the small business owner to be quick to state that their product is better than everyone else’s but very slow indeed to demonstrate that fact. As a result, these businesses have pushed hard to take the shorter path to search engine rankings whilst ignoring Google’s guidelines.

      Google’s standards are definitely not too high. They are the basic cornerstone of good communication and information retrieval. What is lacking is the will/desire to conform to those standards.

      Thank you for your link. If I am to be completely honest, I applaud your attention to detail in the display of the information on page which is laid out in an appropriate and easy to read magazine format however, your grammar is often incorrect which will be flagged by Googlebot. Also, you are advertising Honeymoon Packages but the on-page information is merely a travelogue style overview of the geographic area, you have failed to bring the information back to the target audience. What is there for the honeymooning couple? I have no doubt that Kerala is a beautiful honeymoon destination but the information is short, non specific, vague, arms-length and the call to action is hidden at the bottom with no bullet point reinforcements to assist click conversion. The imagery is definitely not romantic and the sea looks to dangerous to swim in. I assume that there are some splendid hotels in the area but the imagery leaves me feeling that the area may be lacking in facilities (everyone likes unspoiled destinations but not “isolated and “sinister”). If I was to be completely brutal I would suggest that this page is designed to communicate with Google rather than a married couple planning their most important holiday of their lives and therefore represents a flawed content strategy.

      It is definitely not unsure that content rich pages will provide you with higher rankings, it is proven that they will but small business owners need to understand that to compete on the world stage requires world class information and a fanatical dedication to giving the customer exactly what they expect online… and then some!

      Please do not feel too bruised by my assessment. I think you have made a charming effort here but there are many improvements that could be made.

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