Of course we’re joking, yes Google have changed their algorithms, but providing your web designer has been optimising your website correctly, it shouldn’t have much of an impact.
So what should you be checking for?
Well, first of all, as with all SEO, take any advice with a pinch of salt as there are no many factors that will affect your ranking. In short, if you want a website that will rank well, write frequent, unique and useful information…
The most recent update is to penalise companies that are using a link scheme, which effectively means manipulating links to or from your website in an attempt to boost your ranking.
Although they have always been considered bad, Google are now paying more attention to:
- Buying links from other websites, either with cash or an exchange of services
- Excessive link exchanges (“link to me and I’ll link to you”)
- Large scale posting either of articles or forum posts with links back to your website
- Using software to automate links to your website
Interestingly the list of bad-practices is now larger as Google are penalising websites with unnatural links. These are links that have been placed on a website without the site owner necessarily knowing. It all sounds a bit far-fetched, but this is really common and could catch out a lot of people ‘sailing close to the wind’.
- Too many links in footers of websites (similar to what us web designers do; “this website was made by Webbed Feet UK”)
- Adverts with links in them that pass PageRank (use the “nofollow” attribute to rectify this)
- Low quality links from directory sites (this is a relatively common issue)
- Forum comments with optimised links in the signature
- Using too many keywords as anchors (links) in articles
So what does this mean in plain English? Well that’s simple, don’t try and get links from people for the sake of having links. If there is a good justifiable reason to have a link, it’s probably OK, but if you’re getting it to improve your website’s position in search engines, it’s probably not.
Don’t worry too much if you violate any of these a little bit, most websites will have links from low quality directory sites for example, Google are only after websites that do this excessively, and this is only one of their many ranking factors.