Great article about the Google Webspam Team! I thought I’d post the link because it provides a great insight into the DWS approach to Online Visibility.
Something that is very important for Australian dentists (and indeed, anyone who owns a website) to be aware of is what Google’s desired outcome is:
keeping the organic search results free of poor quality sites and penalising the ones that got their ranking due to techniques that are against the Google guidelines
The techniques this refers to are pretty much anything that you do to artificially create a backlink to your website (and by you, I really mean anyone that you are paying to do SEO or Search Engine Optimisation for your website).
In the past, a business could pay someone providing Search Engine Optimisation services to ‘get my site to rank on page one of Google’, and the SEO provider would often spend much of their energies creating links on other websites around the internet that would point to the target site. The techniques for doing so were many: unfortunately the most cost-effective techniques involved a level of automation, which often created what used to be called ‘low quality back links’, but could have better been termed ‘spammy’. Many techniques that have worked for SEO companies in the past fall under the ‘unacceptable’ banner.
Google has become very firm about their rules, and have taken drastic action in recent months to develop and change their search algorithm to support them. In their own words,
Any links intended to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme.
Google’s own guidelines are very clear about the solution:
The best way to get other sites to create relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can quickly gain popularity in the Internet community. The more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it. Before making any single decision, you should ask yourself: Is this going to be beneficial for my page’s visitors?
It can’t be much clearer! Website owners must now concentrate on adding high quality, original and relevant content to their website on a regular basis. We need to give people reasons to link to our sites, by making sure it’s one that provides lots of great information that they find interesting or that answers a burning question they might have about dentistry or our business.
We should not pay someone to try to manipulate the rankings on our behalf. While it used to work in the past, the penalties your website could incur are heavy and could have a huge impact on your business.
As Andre Weyher said in the interview,
the best way of preparing yourself against future updates is to build an SEO strategy that depends on smart on-page techniques and internal linking on one side and relationship based linkbuilding on the other side. This means that the obtained links should come from a source that has a genuine reason to link to your site.
Who has a genuine reason to link to the website of your dental practice? Local and industry online directories definitely do. Other websites about dentistry, or health or even about beauty may have a good reason to link to a relevant article on your site. Local businesses, schools, sports clubs and others in your area may also add a link to any articles you write that are about your local community.
If you do hire an SEO company, ask them about what they do and what process they use to assist your rankings. Be very cautious! And wear your BS-Monitor.
Consider investing time, funds and energy into developing your website’s content instead. Give your website visitors (and Google) what they want: interesting information that answers their queries, concerns or curiosity about dentistry and your practice.
You don’t have to do it all yourself: we can help!