Five years ago, it was pretty easy to manipulate the search engines just by building link after link and stuffing your pages with your keyword as many times as possible. However, more and more SEO experts are starting to realize that if you don’t provide quality content, you simply aren’t going to rank. One reason is because of Google Raters. Because they are, in fact, human (despite how many depict Google as one giant machine), the human raters are one of the ingredients that gives the Google stew its accurate ranking system. This ingredient also emphasizes why quality content is so important, but we will get to that later. First, watch this video with Google’s Matt Cutts:
Matt Cutts describes one of the raters’ processes as “side by side” testing. Let’s break this down… The engineers provide two search results for the same query to the raters. One of the results was an “improvement” to the existing algorithm, but the raters don’t know which one is which. Matt Cutts goes on to call this the “blind taste test.” This is when the “side by side” really comes into play, as they literally put the results side by side – pretty much exactly like this:
Once they have the results side by side, the raters go down each list and decide whether the left result is better, or the right. They will make comments about how each site was either useful, irrelevant, or simply spam. These results are analyzed thoroughly by the engineers and analysts to determine which algorithm should be used. They also put these different algorithms into live play and let you, the average Google user, determine which algorithm is best. They collect data on how many times certain links were clicked, yada yada yada.. And I am pretty sure that you and I both are going to click on the links with the most valuable content rather than the spam, right? Before we get to that…
One common misconception is that when the Google raters determine if a link is irrelevant, they boot your website from the rankings to never be seen again. This is not true. The information gathered is definitely used to help rank the websites that are most valuable and authoritative, but your website doesn’t get blacklisted by these Google raters. Now, Matt Cutts does go onto say that websites considered to be spam by the raters is a different story and would be discussed in another video.
Want my opinion?
Okay, here we go. First, my question is what defines spam? Is spam over-optimization and keyword stuffing? In my opinion, yes it is, but the definition of web spam can change from person to person. One rater may think a site is spam, but another may think differently. Who is right?
This just emphasizes why content is so important. If you create quality content regularly that people – and Google raters – want to click on, you will never have to worry about getting blacklisted, or even have trouble ranking. If you are just creating pages, stuffing them with keywords, and simply writing articles for ranking purposes rather than trying to arm the web with your value-adding content, then yes, you should be worried, and are probably wondering right now why you aren’t ranking at all for any of your keywords. In my opinion, if the content on a page doesn’t look natural and I wouldn’t hear someone talk like that normally – IT IS SPAM! For instance, “If you need a Tallahassee FL attorney, you’ve come to the right place. We have over 30 years in Tallahassee Fl personal injury law.” Would any well-respected lawyer talk to you like that? No. There are definitely times when it is necessary to include keywords, but do it in moderation – and be logical about it. If if doesn’t sound right when you read it to yourself, it’s not going to sound right to the end-user.
All in all, I believe that it is only a matter of time before spammers will have no choice but to leave their black hat ways, but until then, those of us who provide good content – or at least try to – can sit back and watch our fresh and unique content bounce the spammers out of Google one by one.