A Pit Opens for Incautious Online Marketers
The news that major corporations are putting search engines such as Google and Yahoo! at the forefront of their marketing strategies could herald
huge problems for incautious optimisers.
We've already seen several significant players in the Car Insurance market fall victim to the dangers of over optimisation. Having reviewed the
penalties, the companies involved are believed to have been black-listed by Google for search engine optimisation activities that don't comply with the
webmaster guidelines. The important consideration here is that the companies were not necessarily doing anything wrong, they are playing Google's
game, although a little too aggressively. In the past companies would disappeared from Google's listings because of attempts to deliberately fool the
search engine to get traffic the site didn't deserve, but now it's possible for brands to lose their position in the results simply by doing their optimisation
Google has, for some years, judged a site's authority by assessing the links pointing to it from other Websites.This has given rise to an industry
wherein companies sell link-building programmes to artificially raise a site's perceived authority.
Google doesn't like to be manipulated. Internet search is a three-way deal: if I'm looking to buy car insurance, and you sell car insurance, I want to find
your site. Google wants to give me what I'm looking for. But, given that there are a lot of competing sites, Google has to decide who to show first. If
other sites point at yours, this suggests that your site is worth looking at- if they're related in some way to car insurance. A link from a site about artists'
supplies isn't logical, and suggests that this is just part of a numbers-building campaign.
By looking carefully at the relevancy and context of links, as well as their rate of growth, Google has significantly raised the stakes for companies
looking to optimise their search engine position: do it carelessly and you could