SEO post Jagger

SEO post Jagger
By: Jeremy Knauff

A lot has changed in the search engine optimization industry over the years, but it's been a while since such a drastic change has occurred in such a short period of time. For some time now, people have known that inbound links play a large role in the ranking of a web page and as a result various schemes have been developed and implemented to take advantage of this. Recently, Google flipped the switch on an updated index called Jagger that rivals even the infamous "Florida" update. After this update, many people saw their positions in the SERPs (search engine results pages) take a sudden and vicious plunge, Greg Louganis style.

Did Google's engineers fail to plan out the possible implications to legitimate web sites as a result of this update? Did they become overzealous in their efforts to remove spam web sites from their index? The short answer is one that many people probably won't like. Most of the web sites that were adversely effected by this update were optimized improperly - even those optimized by so called "search engine optimization" firms.

The Jagger update more accurately analyzes the linking patterns of a web page to determine if there have been efforts to artificially improve it's ranking for particular keyword phrases. A majority of the web sites that suffered had a large portion (or all) of their inbound links consisting of:

  • Reciporical links from non-relevant web sites

  • Purchased links from non-relevant web sites

  • Site-wide links

  • Signature links in forums

  • Spam links such as blog comments, guest book entries and forum posts

Some uneducated people in the SEO industry would like to have you belive that these types of links, or a mythical technique called Google bowling will hurt your web site. The fact of the matter is that a web site can not be hurt by any type of inbound links. The web sites that suffered after the most recent update were simply relying on poor or unethical search engine optimization techniques which accounted for most, if not all of their search engine optimization campaign. After Google filtered out the spam links, these web sites had nothing left and as a result, lost their position in the SERPs.

So how do we properly optimize a web site so that it has a better chance of maintaining or improving in the SERPs? The first and most effective way is to avoid any of the techniques listed above. By building your search engine optimization campaign from a solid foundation you won't have to worry about loosing your footing. Building a web site with a substantial amount of quality content combined with an effective link building campaign will take time but in the end you will see far better results that are sustainable.

Jeremy L. Knauff is the founder & CEO of Wildfire Marketing Group, a full service Marketing Firm specializing in helping companies like yours compete against the bigger companies – and win.

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