Saturday, July 18, 2009
Ouch Google That Hurts! (How Recent Changes Within
Google May Affect Your Rankings)
Recent changes within Google's organic keyword rankings are
sending minor shock waves throughout the SEO community. There
seems to be a major overhaul, especially relating to not only
PageRank Sculpting, which may drastically lower your rankings,
but also in the "very way" Google lists its organic search
Basically, some common on your own
site will no longer give your rankings a boost in Google. It's
as if Google has declared war on many of the old tried and
proven SEO techniques that have worked for years.
addressed PageRank Sculpting in a recent blog post
so it is no longer a matter of speculation but something every
webmaster has to deal with when constructing the layout of their
site. Manipulating your site's PageRank to promote certain
lucrative "money-pages" on your site has just gotten a lot harder.
Those webmasters with authority sites could see a major drop in
their keyword rankings within Google.
In the past, one of the most effective ways to rank well in
Google was simply a matter of building a sub-section of
themed/keyworded pages on your site directly related to
your targeted keyword. By pooling all the PR juice from
these pages onto your "money page" meant you could rank
well in Google for that keyword, especially if you had
a high PR6 or PR7 site.
Although it is somewhat foolish to draw general conclusions
from specific events happening on your site, since Google
seems to be in a constant "change mode" these days so any
conclusions or pronouncements of what is actually happening
may be premature. But I am a professional online marketer who
has been monitoring thousands of keywords in Google for six
or seven years, and recent keyword movements tell me something
has definitely shifted in the land of Google. Top rankings in
Google for lucrative keywords are essential for me earning an
online living so anything affecting those top rankings has my
Recent movements in some of my keywords have me scratching my
head in amazement. For example, one URL which had been at the top
spot within Google's organic search listing for over five years
suddenly vanished down to the four or fifth page. Now this is
the Ezinearticles listing when you search my name in Google, that
URL has been at the top for ages - what has caused it to drop.
More than likely, it has to do with either of two things: PageRank
Sculpting or a Keyword Spam Filter. It just may be due to changes
in PR sculpting, since Ezinearticles.com is highly optimized
authority site, any changes with how Google ranks interior
pages on a given site will probably show up on a site like
Or this may just be a casualty of some Google spam filter or
filters since I have noticed Ezinearticle recently added
this URL at end of each of my article:
This repeated URL on many sites could cause a spam filter to
lower the ranking of this URL. Many believe you
have to be careful to vary the (clickable part of
a link) to avoid being penalized for keyword spamming.
Actually, this is truly farfetched, but I noticed Google only
changed the top listing for that searched term recently,
and it now matches the one found on Bing. Is Google playing
catch-up with Bing, since the URL in question is the correct
one that should be in the top spot!
Now, of course, those who know me will realize the lowering
of this one URL in Google SERPs is not what has me very
concerned by recent developments within Google. It is a few
of my more lucrative keyword drops that have me very concerned
about what's happening within Google's Algorithm and changes
You have to realize, except for the occasional Google dance
and a few major updates - my own keyword rankings within Google
have remained pretty stable over the years. Despite the countless
horror stories you hear about Google suddenly dropping or delisting
a page or site - this has NOT been my own experience. If my
rankings drop it is because I have stopped promoting that
particular keyword phrase and even then the drop in rankings
is fairly slow and predictable.
A recent drop of one of my most profitable keywords did not
follow that pattern or morn. Suddenly bouncing in and out
of the top five spot before finally settling in nowhere land
on the third page. Now we are talking about a very competitive
keyword with over 52,000,000 pages listed but there seems
to be a fundamental shift in the way Google is listing its
rankings or SERPs for very lucrative keywords, I don't see
the same filters, ranking factors applied to minor keywords
or even lengthy "long-tail" keywords. At least, not yet.
Google seems to have made a major and profound overhaul of how
it lists its SERPs. Basically, Google is dividing its listings
up into five different groups or categories on that crowded
3) Brand Name
In addition, Google's SERPs have become much more fluid,
changing daily, if not hourly. Half of the URL listings on that
first page could be new listings, next day they're replaced
For the above keyword, I even had one of my articles listed
on the first page for a brief time. In the past this was virtually
an unheard of occurrence within Google. This article was on a
large online article directory. I have seen other news items
jump in and out of this first page listings. Keeping your
keyword phrase within the top 5 positions will be extremely
Perhaps, even more troubling is the new abundance of Brand
Name listings on the first page results. did an
excellent report on this a little while back. Google seems
to have made a direct move to listing those big name company
sites. The keyword phrase in question now has a link from one
the largest computer companies in the world in the number one spot.
Small site owners and webmasters who play by the rules will
have a much more difficult time to rank high for lucrative
keywords and a lot more trouble keeping their keywords on
the first page.
Large corporate sites with deep "link-buying pockets" will rule
Google in the future. Despite Google's feeble attempt at cutting
out this practice, link buying is much more lucrative and much more
profitable than running any Adwords campaign. Link buying will
be the number one advertising expenditure for most large companies
in the future, if not already.
Even more troubling, besides the dominance of the big brands
in Google's new search engine, is the fact that small webmasters
must now realize the available space on that first page has grown
much smaller - with news, product and video listings taking up the
slack. Suddenly your target has gotten much smaller and your chances
of hitting it much, much slimmer.
If Google applies the same kind of ranking factors and the
way it lists its SERPs to all of its keywords, then ranking
high for your chosen keyword phrase has grown much more
difficult. Competition within Google has always been fierce,
especially for popular keywords which bring in the big bucks,
but now because of these recent Google changes, your search
engine marketing has just gotten a lot tougher. Thanks Google!
The author is a full-time online marketer who has numerous
websites. For the latest web marketing tools try:
Copyright © 2009 Titus Hoskins. This article may be freely
distributed if this resource box stays attached.
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