A few weeks ago, Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, declared guest blogging as “done” saying, “stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy.”
Cutts was responding to a flurry of spammy practices being conducted lately by brands as large as Expedia. What began as a great way to put relevant information in front of relevant audiences became just another way to get a link. As Cutts said:
“Ultimately, this is why we can’t have nice things in the SEO space: a trend starts out as authentic. Then more and more people pile on until only the barest trace of legitimate behavior remains. We’ve reached the point in the downward spiral where people are hawking ‘guest post outsourcing’ and writing articles about ‘how to automate guest blogging.’”
But guest blogging – true, authentic, guest blogging – remains a fundamental way to drive traffic and build awareness, so long as you’re doing it right.
What goes on behind Google’s gates? Many a person in the search engine optimization field has dreamed of getting an inside look, much like Charlie did of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, and that is what the inner workings of Google are like to an SEO — fascinating and often awe-inspiring. There are a few videos available that give a visual behind the scenes look at how the great minds at Google convene together and the process through which they tweak the algorithm.
The following are three videos that will make you feel like you have a front row “golden ticket.”
1. Search Quality Meeting: Spelling for Long Queries
This is an eight minute look at the Google team discussing whether to launch an algorithm change that relates to spelling for long queries. The annotations are insightful and sometimes humorous, but seeing the sparkle in the eyes of those there paired with the quick-witted dialogue is well worth your time.
2. How Google makes improvements to its search algorithm
This four minute long video is a must for every SEO. It gives a high level explanation of how Google implements hundreds of adjustments to the search algorithm every year. It is also a quick look at some of the Google greats who are behind changes in search.
3. 8.3.11 Inside Google’s Search Office: Matt Cutts, Ben Gomes, and Amit Singhal
Danny Sullivan, editor of SearchEngineLand.com, interviewing Matt Cutts, head of the webspam team at Google, Ben Gomes, Engineer at Google, and Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow and software engineer at Google, in the first of its kind Google interview at the Churchill Club.
In addition to these videos, make sure you are keeping up-to-date with Google’s Inside Search blog which posts a number of different kinds of updates including a monthly blog post highlighting search changes.
The last three search update blog posts were:
February 2012: Search quality highlights: 40 changes for February
January 2012: 17 search quality highlights: January
December 2012: 30 search quality highlights (with codenames!): December
Making sure to understand the basics of how Google evolves the search algorithm over time, how potential changes are tested before launch, and where to find which changes have made the cut is important for webmasters, marketers, agencies, and business owners. A seemingly small tweak at Google can increase or decrease your site’s organic traffic. Feel free to contact MoreVisibility if you have any questions about organic search.
A well structured website with as many uniquely targeted pages as possible will often give websites more reach in the search engines. This is even more important given the fact that, a) Google will now start serving up more results from a website for a particular query and b) Google’s recent “Mayday” update will reward pages that have optimized for “longer tail keyphrases” with better rankings. So, with that being said, how do we ensure that these deeper level pages are crawled, indexed and will rank well?
Matt Cutts of Google recently stated in an interview, “… the number of pages that we crawl is roughly proportional to your PageRank”. If this is the case, then cultivating good links to your site so the PageRank flows to as many pages as possible is imperative so Google and other search engines may find these deeper level pages. Once the spiders get there, they need to see that these buried, internal level pages are targeting keyphrases that are much more exacting or “longer tail” than that of the keywords targeted on the higher level pages.
This is very important information for anyone considering Search Engine Optimization and should be taken seriously to get the best results for your site as a whole. The more you think about keyword targeting for the deeper pages on your site, the more of that valuable search engine real estate you will acquire.