First off what is dirty SEO? From my perspective, dirty SEO involves on-site keyword stuffing, low quality content (including duplicate content), over-optimized titles, internal link spam and direct linking same page content. This is just basic on-site dirty SEO. There are tons of other methods people use to try and game the search engines that have worked well in the past. I have tried a lot of these methods myself and for a time, it did its job. The thing is, something that works today, might not work 6 months from now.
What about dirty off-site SEO? This includes low quality link-wheels utilizing spun and duplicate content. Direct blasting your site with tools such as AMR and XRummer, etc. This is not only dirty, but ineffective with recent Google changes. Other methods include joining or creating your own link pyramids, etc.
Google’s Recent Algorithm Update (Penguin)
So what changed? From what I’m noticing, Google simply isn’t qualifying low quality backlinks anymore. This includes links from sub-par web 2.0 pages, web articles and profile links. Google has decided that these sort of links shouldn’t pass much or any value on. Not only that but web-pages with nothing but these low quality backlinks seem to be suffering greatly in their rankings.
Authority websites on the other hand, with more natural backlinks and age seem to be able to counteract bad links and are doing great in the search engines. I have also noticed domain age seems to be a more important factor. I could imagine Google giving domains SEO grades for each year they practice good SEO. As a domain ages, it would have a higher overall trust factor attached to it. This would make ranking in general a little easier.
SEO is always changing. Something that worked 6-months ago might not work today.
So What’s Working Today?
Search engines (especially Google) are moving to a more social environment. They’re focusing more on social signals including Facebook Likes, Google + and Retweets. It’s just another way to better value of a website according to Google.
Do you think Google’s algo change is for the better or worse?
Personally I feel they’ll eventually get it right – however in the mean time search rankings are a bit crazy right now. I feel they know they have some tweaking to do and they’re working on it with mini updates to penguin every few weeks. I hope they can tweak it enough to bring back the old Google with some social twist to it without forcing it down our throat.
What’s your take on dirty SEO and the Google update?