Just realized that tomorrow is exactly 17 years since I started in IM. 25th May 1996. Pre Google. Keyword stuffing, buying banner space, gaming Lycos and Alta Vista. I had just been turned down for a promotion at work and really needed the extra cash. In my mind (like so many people applying for a big promotion) the expected pay rise was already spent. I needed that extra cash. I saw a news program about the burgeoning .com boom (there was one on every 20 minutes back then) and asked around "How did these guys make money".
I didn't have a "big idea" but I was told that piggy backing on other peoples ideas as someone who could market for them was a great way to get a head start. The word "affiliate" was never used - but that's what it was.
On 25th May I bought my first domain and spent about 3 weeks trying to set up a website on it selling shoes by mail order as a sort of affiliate with a handshake deal from the shoe makers (which they honoured for as long as I had the site). I made my first few quid (I'm British) in August of that year and by Christmas was making almost 50% of my income online. I was earning a LOT more than the lady who got the promotion.
Back to today (wibbly screen...wooh woooh wibbly screen)
Today this site is full of "Oh noes. .SEO is dying. Is there still any value in link building? - Shall I go back to stacking shelves in the supermarket"?
Other sites (ones full of self righteous "johnny come lately's") - and yes I'm talking about you among others Mr Fishkin - actually feed the flames.
"Tidy up your act. Do this - do that - this WON'T WORK anymore."
And it's the use of these empirical statements that REALLY winds me up.
Penguin 2.0 is ONGOING - the dust hasn't settled yet, the cards are STILL BEING SHUFFLED yet I see SEO after SEO claiming to have found the "golden answer" already.
How? How the feck did they do that when the index is still very much in flux - and will be for many days to come?
What exactly have these people extrapolated so far from a shuffling index.
If they played poker could they tell if they would have the best dealt hand while the cards are being shuffled?
(In case you are wondering the answer is "No")
Here's a post with perspective. I left the links in on purpose (they don't lead to any sites of mine but to authority SEO sites) See just how much the world has changed in the last ten years (no...not )
Look at the shocking news I read today (then please read the summary at the bottom)
“With the latest update Google is looking to increase the value of authority sites. Sites that have links from other authority sites and have good quality content themselves may well be rewarded with an increase in search engine ranking while those that rely on links from irrelevant sites may well suffer as a result of the latest update”
Nope. This is the “Google Bourbon” update from 2004. It was the “End of SEO”
Ok what about this then...
"This latest update is the ultimate anti spam sub algorithm. The most severe slap Google has ever given the the SEO community. Bad links – poor context and poor surrounding content will be for the long drop and Google sets out to clean house.
Sites where our algorithms had very low trust in the inlinks or the outlinks of that site. Examples that might cause that include excessive reciprocal links, linking to spammy neighborhoods on the web, or link buying/selling.
So this is Penguin 2.0 then?
Nope This is the “Google Big Daddy” update from 2005. It was the “End of SEO”
Ok - what about THIS one them...
Google latest update seem to prefer older sites in some cases, although it is all still at an early stage.
We have been seeing some updates in Page ranks and the like, but fortunately going towards the positive point and taking the link building process into consideration. Poor quality links are being penalized as best practice for SEO is being rewarded (at last). The quality and relevancy of content is also part of this update.
So this has GOT to be Penguin then. Or maybe Panda (it mentions content)?
Nope this is a “Google Dewey” update from 2008. It was widely regarded as the “End of SEO”
- Is this a full and complete list?
- How many updates has Google had that have said much the same thing?
“No” and “plenty” are the answers you are looking for.
And the unasked question?
Yes – Almost all the updates say more or less the exact same thing. They go back to 2003 with “Fritz”. Their have been many since.
Some Serious Points
The update has only just been rolled out less than 48 hours ago. It will take up to a week for the dust to settle. Don’t extrapolate anything yet. The indexes are in flux. The results are best measured once they have settled.
Google has made many (many) changes, all supposedly to the same aim. While the indexes are getting a little better and quality is slowly winning out over spam – it’s pretty easy to see it’s a war of attrition. No “one” update ever changes anything like as much of the index landscape as the noise disgruntled SEO’s make would seem to suggest.
Links win – always have - always will. Think a few hundred quality rather than tens of thousands of rubbish links. No news here. Nothing to see…move on.
Of course I will take a look at Penguin 2.0 in due time. I’ll wait for the updates to complete and the shuffling to settle down. That may take a good few days yet. Be wary of the “gurus” who tell you they know all about this or any other update almost as soon as the rollout has started. They don’t and indeed can’t know the ramifications as it is currently an on-going process.
Now – Penguin 2.0 is a deck of cards… in mid shuffle