ColourOfSpring - 10:41 am on May 9, 2013 (gmt 0)
I have a site that I've worked on so hard - great mobile experience (responsive design), really tweaked the usability to maximise good user experience. Site has a high conversion rate which is testimony to my constant updates to help the visitor, but low traffic since Google deem it as "spam" because of some off-page signals. This is the problem - Google simply don't want to know about how GOOD your site ACTUALLY IS if your off-page signals are deemed as "bad" - signals I cannot control anyway. So what's the incentive to create a really great user experience and spend hundreds of hours on a site when the main traffic driver (Google) do not care about that if off-page signals are deemed as "spammy"? It's like hearing that a prospective new partner is kind, has a great personality, is very clever, has a great sense of humour, and she's beautiful. But all of those good points are negated by the fact that her father did some time in jail. That's beyond her control. Off-site links are beyond our control. Not sure if my analogy is the best one, but it's basically trying to describe this: your good points should be the only consideration. You should not be judged by that which you cannot control. Google reward churn and burn, and punish those who are in it for the long-term. I look at the top results in my niche - crappy user experience, non-responsive design, no delivery / returns / terms and conditions, no contact addresses, sites are less than a year old - no signs I should trust them - but they're top because they're new and haven't been hit by any updates.