besnette - 7:31 pm on Jul 12, 2013 (gmt 0)
Diberry, your timeline brings back some memories...a lot good, some not-so-good. I think, though, that your observations and timeline are great. Seems like much of what is "done" when it comes to these updates is sort of an aggressive chemotherapy, trying to weed out the spammers, but taking a lot of healthy, good cells with it, leaving a lot of scar-tissue behind.
I don't envy Google's job whatsoever. If they could ever figure out the 'intent' behind each website, and rank more according to that, the web would probably be a much more enjoyable place.
I try to understand when they have an update going after domains with keywords in them...but gee whiz, so many great sites have that too, and it is, and has been common practice since the dawn of e-time. I mean, let's say you have a business card with limited space, and you put your site's domain name on it. If it is a cutesy, non-relevant name, people are doing to go "duh, what's that." If you have a domain name that describes what you do, people will know immediately by the name alone - what's wrong with that, and why should that be punished based on that alone (i.e. the people building our deck right now have Denver and Decks in their domain name...tells me right away what they do...).
Why be punished for doing adsnese? I know that this is why a lot of spam happens in the first place, but a lot of good sites use it well, and appropriately.
There's so many things that we've heard that updates "go after" and each time, the after effect is usually not positive for a lot of legitimate, good sites.
What I've seen in my niche, is that some of the best ranked sites are very slick, very pretty....but to figure out who is behind them...that's the kicker. They are so often very 'anonymous' and almost robotic, without much of a human aspect to them. Stock photos used ad-nauseum...every single phone number and click goes to who-knows-where. Who wrote this..who published this...who can I contact to ask a question about THIS site that I am on...often times a mystery.
I know that these factors can be retooled, and learned by the smart spammers down the road, but for now, that's much of the common thread that I see, and a huge challenge facing Google, I am well aware.
And yes, as you alluded to...big money brands have the money to spend to stay ahead of the game, which is very unsettling.
They have a near-impossible job to do - something I can respect.
I guess onward...we'll see how it all turns out......