When Hummingbird, Google’s last big algorithm update, rolled out in the last quarter of 2013, businesses that were doing social media right finally received some well-deserved credit. The problem is, most businesses don’t do it right, or don’t do it at all.
A Short History on SEO Fools
Since the inception of Facebook Business Pages, perhaps before then, many business owners and marketing professionals have tried to fool the system. Humans crave the get rich quick opportunity. Many people selected SEO companies based on their results, and those SEOs that successfully tricked the system were the leaders. Google’s reputation as a great source of relevant, high-quality, information was at stake as irrelevant content moved to page one of search results, and Google’s gurus had to find a way to filter out irrelevant or low-quality information.
A good example of Google’s quality issue can be seen in how the company dealt with duplicate content. Until Google became hardcore about ranking sites with duplicate content lower than those with original text, online marketers tried all kinds of quick-fixes, like keyword stuffing—adding pages of gibberish with keywords to a website—and stealing text from competitors (which is also copyright infringement). Another sneaky, now outlawed, practice was to place keywords on a website in the same color font as the background, so they weren’t visible to consumers, but search spiders saw the words as relevant for indexing and ranking a webpage.
These tactics became known as black hat tactics. Just like the bad guys in the old west, SEO villains who stole rankings from honest businesses with integrity-based SEO strategies were deemed “the bad guys.” We, “the good guys” are the white-hat cowboys, who stand for justice, honesty, and all things good and beautiful—even in our business dealings, when profits are on the line. Ultimately, the good guys win. Read More