Don’t get lazy at the top or should I say get too comfortable…
Sounds pretty straight forward right? It may be time to lose the mullet and the lazy SEO that went along with them.
The premise behind this post is, too many companies are stuck in the search engine optimization methods that prevailed in 1995. Things like on page SEO abuse such as keyword stuffing, exaggerated use of keywords in the copy otherwise known as excessive keyword density and the like are still common practices from modern day SEO companies. While they rank like champions today, tomorrow is another day, so be weary to keep abreast of change and keep your SEO in the present tense. Because no mullet in disguise or old School SEO technique can save your site from the new and improved Google Bot
Just the other day, I had to rescue a client in the UK who suffered as a result of some old school SEO that had seen better days. This company (name undisclosed) who dominated the rankings for their extremely competitive keywords found themselves banned from Google as a result of methods used by their web design company. This was their bread and butter, so you can see why panic, stress and frustration are common when someones site drops out from the rankings.
The company hired a bad egg that used a black hat methods such as a tricky .PHP footer and a hidden table cloaked in .CSS with about 600 choice (keyword stuffed) industry specific terms to deceptively inflate the importance of their documents. As a result for the past few years this put their site over the top as a result of themed content and they enjoyed the number one spot without so much as lifting a finger or doing any off page SEO.
Here’s where things take a twist, as a result of new intelligence and updates to the Google Bot, the spiders uncovered the .css hidden attribute, unraveled their code and then removed them from the Google UK Index. The good news is, at least they received the email from Google letting them know that they had been smacked right out of the index and if they remove the code, (which we did) and submit a re inclusion request, that all should be well.
The end result is, you see a lot of pages that just tend to hang in the SERPs like a kite, simply because no one has pushed the envelope for their spot. In addition as always, search engines are getting smarter and are beginning to penalize sites that are using methods that artificially inflate rankings. In my summation, most of the websites still occupying ridiculous rankings are in for a shock when they realize that first of all, there are no guarantees that your rankings are going to stay the way they are, call it the Google Dance, algorithm adjustments or whatever tickles your fancy, the only fact is that search engines are in a constant state of change.
It is only a matter of time, as a result of updates and devaluation of things like site wide links (links with the same anchor text on every page pointing to your site) a tactic abused by website and SEO companies in the past, will only lead to a plummet in organic search results as search engines get wiser to the games people play.
The real message of this post is, don’t get lazy at the top, because just when you thought you were safe, “poof” de-indexing could happen at any time.
It could be a result of a dose of bad links, because someone applied principles which overshadow your own or might have a higher relevance to search engines, or just a simple algorithm change, so your better off following the guidelines and not putting your eggs in one basket when it comes to building links or promoting your website.