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Matt Cutts "In the next few days, we’re launching an important algorithm change targeted at webspam. The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines. We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content. While we can't divulge specific signals because we don't want to give people a way to game our search results and worsen the experience for users, our advice for webmasters is to focus on creating high quality sites that create a good user experience and employ white hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive webspam tactics."
Sites affected by this change might not be easily recognizable as spamming without deep analysis or expertise, but the common thread is that these sites are doing much more than white hat SEO; we believe they are engaging in webspam tactics to manipulate search engine rankings.
[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 4:31 pm (utc) on Apr 25, 2012]
[edit reason] added quotes - updated link [/edit]
Mod's note... again, SeymourJames post, about his topic, published in the Business Issues forum...
Google - What went wrong this April 2012
The Google Business Plan
< snip - off-topic >
I am going to finish there - you can all make up your own minds but I know what I am doing and it no longer means learning a new dance.
[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:09 pm (utc) on Apr 26, 2012]
[edited by: goodroi at 3:33 pm (utc) on Apr 30, 2012]
[edit reason] Keywords [/edit]
If you are having to dance every few months to a different tune, how can you have a sustainable business that employs people.
I note also that no site which regularly uses adwords who also sit on page one or two from 5 different phrases in my market have been downgraded.
I'd like to share what I have observed:
-positions of previously high ranking terms fell completely out of the top 50 for keyword phrases that were used as exact match anchor text links
-good positions 'survived' in some cases where no exact match anchor text links were pointed
-positions improved for heavily naturally branded site despite having acquired exact match anchor text links recently
-EMDs where branding is difficult b/c it is the keyword phrase got blasted
-Sites hit with sloppy backlink profiles from YEARS ago (adopted project) despite only adding quality diversified links for past 18 months
-no wbmstr tools messages for any of the sites
-top keywords I focused on (primarily with anchor text links) smashed. kws I did not focus on doing 'ok'.
I went through a list of the anchor text used in the most recent links that were added ('acquired', blog posts, social, etc.) and in almost every instance the position for that keyword was lost. Except for one site, with solid branding.
This is a bit of a ramble, but if we're able to share observations some commonalities may become apparent.