Search engine optimization continues to be one of the most lucrative professions in the online development industry, and that’s for a pretty good reason. Google continues to update its search engine ranking algorithms, first unleashing its Google Panda modification and then treating the world to Google Penguin the next year. These two updates have focused almost entirely on relegating so-called “junk websites” to the back of the line when a user searches for their content using their top keywords. Junk websites are identifiable in a number of ways, including their adherence to emphasizing and overly repeating keywords, filling the site with over-the-top advertising, and placing a high number of wasteful, junky links all over the site’s design.
These things are now easy to spot by Google’s advanced Panda and Penguin algorithms and, in fact, Google Penguin was designed almost exclusively to prevent the proliferation of wasteful links. The algorithm’s effectiveness was recently tested by a leading search engine optimization firm, which placed tens of thousands of these wasteful links all over a well-regarded website which placed on the first page of Google search results. Five weeks and $45 later, that website was no longer an authority in its niche. Its space on the front page was done away with, and Google relegated it to the “back pages” of spam, junk, and newcomers. The lesson? Write and link to content with purpose and good reason, or Google will have a pretty good reason to send a website to the back of the line.