Google Webspam Update. Have you lost rankings?

Google has rolled out a new update which is meant to improve the quality of search results. I won’t go in too much broad detail because the good people over at Search Engine Land and Search Engine Watch have already covered quite a bit of it.

I’ll be sharing some observations I’ve made regarding my own niche and most competitive key phrase, SEO Perth.

I’ve never really tried to rank for the term, simply because I am already getting enough enquiries with other terms and long tail searches. Last time I checked, I was sitting pretty steady on page two. After the algo update yesterday (aka Webspam Algorithm Update), I’m now on page seven! Ok fine, either Google doesn’t seem to think I’m relevant enough as a Perth SEO Company to show up for the term SEO Perth, or I’m getting penalized for the term, OR Google’s new algo update isn’t quite working out as they had designed it.

When I look at the page one results, a few things that stand out are the following:

  • The backlink profile of a lot of the sites listed one page one is very unnatural. Loads of irrelevant footer links (designed by SEO Perth etc).
  • Very high percentage of identical anchor text used for the links.
  • Still plenty of empty shell pages created purely for backlinks and spun articles on irrelevant and low quality blogs.
  • Also loads of “hi, nice blog” comment spam links.
  • A decent amount of (relatively) new Wiki article spam purely written and spun for backlinks.
  • Besides basic keyword stuffing, other old techniques such as adding text links so small that a human can’t read them on the bottom of pages also still seems to work!

If you’ve seen your ranking tank, my advice is to sit on it for a few days. Let’s give the Google Webspam Update some time to work itself out. Any changes you start making right now as a knee-jerk reaction might influence your rankings negatively if the update has sorted itself out.

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