Although the Google algorithm changes, e.g. Panda, Penguin, etc., stunned the gurus who preach about how to to game the google serps, it feels more like a gaming pause than a stop that Google envisioned.
Indeed my inbox turned a different shade for a few days. But shortly after that, my inbox went abuzz with a vengeance with subject lines from marketers going electric with promises to soar back up the serps in 10 days or so, etc.
Whether these promises have meat or not, I think people are gobbling them up like crazy precisely because these are the times when they needed new directions the most as they are essentially facing blank walls and needed a way out quick. And the gurus, whether legitimate or scam artists, are scrambling to pounce on this hunger. If war is good for business, confusion in the online world is good for business, too.
So, ever since google set up filters to identify legitimate backlinks from spam links, here comes the masters boasting of having found out loopholes that allow anyone to build backlinks that remain under the radar of Google’s filters.
They also talk of things that actually make sense like when they advocate that content is indeed king. And yet, in the same breath, they launch into another pitch about the awesomeness of a software that spins your good content into a thousand readable versions. And not only that, it automatically submits these to article directories.
Google is not that clean either in these areas. They have developed this feature called ‘Disavow’ which allows webmasters to wash their hands off of some dirty seo they’ve done in the past. The way I see it, this is still SEO gaming. And from the inside, at that.
Naturally, the gamers, more often than not, are the first ones to pounce on this opportunity to clean up their tracks. By definition, anyone who desires and takes action to put their sites up in the top serps are gamers. That includes just about everyone who has a website. But just as there are people who are more adventurous, so are there webmasters who are more aggressive at seo gaming than the rest.
Google is still far from perfect
I think the only act a webmaster can do that wouldn’t be considered ‘dirty gaming’ is when they put real valuable content on their sites, because that is the only thing Google really wants in a website after all.
But of course, no matter how advanced Google’s bots have become these days, these bots still couldn’t sense ‘good content’. That’s why they look to other sites to see if they are ‘endorsing’ those sites via backlinks. And this has been a doorway for gaming ever since Google started using this method. And since Google is still using it, the gaming thus continues. As soon as their new tweaks and filtering in this area are detected, the gamers adjust accordingly.
And when Google started checking up on social media sites, e.g facebook, (and even created their own Google+), the gamers flocked and juiced them out for what they’re worth.
Google aims to be able to give search results that give value to the searcher. That is, results that satisfy the searchers. After the changes, I however can see, every now and then, some crap pages that still slips through the filters and thus get in the top serps. If not crap pages, there are pages that are not neccessarily exact or appropriate to the search terms.
A quick test, for instance, revealed that half of the first page in google for the search term “how to change ink cartridge hp deskjet 3050” does not show the searcher how to change or replace an ink cartridge for the hp deskjet 3050. But somewhere in the 10th page, in position number 113, is a page that is as instructive as that in position number 2 of the first page. Among the pages that don’t contain instructions to replace ink cartridge, and thus don’t give value to the searcher, is an amazon sales page. The printer’s actual online manual which contains a whole section on how to replace the printers ink cartridge should be number one, but currently sits on number 4.
I’m sure you too can find examples of these instances where you don’t really get to be satisfied at google’s results. But then again, google robots, and all of the other search robots are not perfect and we’ll just have to accept that fact if we don’t want to get a migraine headache.
Can Google Eventually Stop SEO Gaming?
So, the question is ‘can Google ever stop the seo gaming game?’ I’d say, never. But for a while they can always make it difficult for the gamers. I appreciate though the respite I get during these rare times when my inbox gets a rest from over-active seo marketers.