Google is moving the SEO goal post further away, and, in my opinion, for the good of the “human” users of the internet. Penguin and Panda have been the latest versions of the Google algorithm updates. Panda now has 20+ versions.
As a result, Google is now clamping on the “unetchical and spammy” tactics:
1. Aggressive use of the anchor text: In other words, Google now wants you to use different anchor text or different variations of it) in the back links for the same page.
2. Exploitation of exact-match domains: A lot of people were buying several domains that contained the exact keywords they targeted (for example, car-servicing-in-London.com for “car servicing in London”) and then not actually using those domains to host their websites, but rather re-directing visitors from there to their main site, or just using those domains to link to their main site
3. Low-quality article marketing & blog spam: attempting to get backlinks from the low quality article farms and the blog comments.
4. Keyword stuffing: loading up your targeted page with lots of different versions of the keyword without any context. In some cases, overdoing it!
At the end of November I saw some sudden drops in especially one of the sites I look after even though I follow these guides very closely.
What I found out, in addition, is that Google is now putting more weight on the size of the site as well. It thinks that sites with bigger number of pages (with quality content) are more likely to be authority compared to sites with a handful of pages.
Now, this creates a big problem for the SEO work if you don’t have any influence on the site’s content and how frequently it gets refreshed.
The bigger sites seemed to be almost unaffected.
Food for thought…