Just to make it perfect, here’s a mouse wearing a helmet.
As a bit of background, Google have recently rolled out two new sets of changes to their algorithms. One of these is set to punish people for creating overtly obvious and artificial links to their websites with a view to boosting their position in their Google search engine rankings. I have spent some considerable time on this in the past couple of weeks and I’ve come to the conclusion that you must be insane to be working in the SEO business at the moment.
One of my website customers recently received a message from Google on Google Webmaster Tools to the following effect :
Dear site owner or webmaster,
We’ve detected that some of your site’s pages may be using techniques that are outside Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.
We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you’ve made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google’s search results.
If you find unnatural links to your site that you are unable to control or remove, please provide the details in your reconsideration request.
If you have any questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support.
Google Search Quality Team
My client commissioned a SEO company that seemed to above board and credible to do work on his website (with some little onsite optimisation) as well as a lot of link building. It would now seem that Google has deemed his link profile to be unnatural (which to be fair – it is – as will any profile that has had extensive link building done) and he is faced with the prospect of trawling through 5000 inbound links to try and find and remove the ones that are the problem. I contacted the SEO company on his behalf, and they say that they followed acceptable practice at the time and are also unwilling to help resolve this.
I’m willing to bet, they didn’t follow acceptable practice and the reason they are unwilling to help is that they are inundated with customers coming back to complain about this.
What this makes me realise that you must be insane to get into selling SEO services if what you’re providing is link-building. Every time I have got involved in buying in this kind of service for clients it has been a nightmare. The first thing link builders tell you is that there are no guarantees that it’ll work, but I just can’t see how you can indemnify yourself against inevitable client backlash if you are selling a service that essentially lies completely out of your control. No matter what kind of crazy back-pedalling contract you shove in front of your clients, you are going to get dissatisfaction. Maybe not immediately, but sooner or later (as these latest Google updates prove) it’s going to come back and bite you.
Focus on content I suppose. It seems to be one of the few branches of Search Engine Optimisation that, to me, has any credibility left.
I can’t exactly say I am the most diligent person in the world when it comes to doing stuff. I can barely manage to remember to phone my mother once a week, and my twitter account and Facebook page have languished gathering cobwebs for a considerable period of time. And this blog – well it remains somewhat of a joke amongst my friends that I have a blog that I have never updated.
I can’t say that I will keep it up but I have made a fresh resolution to keep all of these things up to date. I am also resolving not to “do a Jochta” and just use it to moan about stuff.
On that note I am pleased to say I’ve registered on 4Square, started using my twitter account again and am at least keeping somewhat up to date with Facebook.