When the Google Penguin update went live, webmasters and marketers were left confused as to why their search rankings had taken a turn for the worst almost overnight.
This was due to Google beginning their clamp down on ‘bad’ link building and rewarding those who took the original message on board and used it wisely.
In the 1990s Google announced that back links to a website would count as a ‘vote’ for the credibility of the site or particular page in question and its content, stating each vote would help to bring a website or page closer to their desired search engine page rankings.
However, people soon began to find shortcuts to ‘cheat’ the system by setting up websites and posting low quality content on there just for the purpose of the link it contained.
Through this they gained thousands of links in short periods of time, sacrificing all quality for sheer quantity in their race to the top ranks.
This ‘bad’ link building has been practiced for the best part of a decade, until Google has finally begun to crack down on the culprits and reward those who chose not to abuse the system.
Now Google say they will only consider ‘good’ links to websites with credibility and high quality content as valid, and any sites seen to be using ‘aggressive’ link building tactics will be punished.
Google’s Vice President Amit Singhai has said that Google are hoping that punishing aggressive link building and rewarding those who use authority link building will help to level the playing field once again, which in turn will help Google to improve their search experience and deliver more relevant and worthwhile results, rather than the “cross our fingers and hope there’s a Web page out there with the answer” solution that seems to be the current case for most search engines.
Due to the punishments now being handed out, many internet marketers and webmasters who took shortcuts in previous years are being forced to pay for their links to be removed from the low quality websites rather than pay for them to appear.
It could be said that karma has finally reached the world of SEO, and as Google’s search bots become more human and ethical than ever, link building companies are being forced to consider the ethics of their past, present and future SEO tactics.