The worlds of search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) evolve on a rapid basis, with new updates and significant changes happening seemingly every week. Recently, however, those updates were far more drastic than normal, with one of Google’s most hated and feared penalty getting a complete makeover. Now, we’re sorting through the rubble, and one of the most interesting applications of the change is negative SEO.
Google Penguin’s Makeover
Google Penguin was a large part of Google search algorithm. It focused on backlinks, which are the best signal of a site’s online reputation: If other websites are sending people to website A, then website A must be something good.
A key component of Google Penguin, however, was a penalty that was aimed at preventing marketers from spreading backlinks to their site all over the web, thereby enhancing their own reputation. It’s exactly what J.C. Penney had done, back in 2010. The Google Penguin penalty, however, was site-wide – using backlinks of disrepute would penalize your entire website, not just the individual page that the links were pointing to.
The site-wide nature of the Penguin penalty was one of the key aspects to get altered by the program’s recent update. Google’s developers wanted the program to be “more granular,” focusing on the nature of individual links, rather than penalizing entire sites that were the destination for suspect links. Since the update rolled out, initial signs have pointed to the updated Penguin program seeing backlinks of ill-repute as worth zero SEO points, rather than a negative number. This change has had a profound impact on negative SEO. [UPDATE: More recent signs suggest this is not always the case]
Search engine optimization is all about moving your website up in the organic search engine rankings. One way to move up, however, is to move the other websites down. And one way to move other websites down in the rankings is to make competing sites trigger search engine penalties, such as by dropping suspicious backlinks that point to the website of a competitor.
This is the nefarious warfare that is negative SEO.
The updated Google Penguin program, however, replaces the bullets used in this battle with blanks. Before, you could tank your competitor’s website by planting backlinks to their site that were meant to trigger a costly Penguin penalty. Now, though, signs suggest that these backlinks will do nothing.
Creating Content by Legal Blogging Works
Google’s updated Penguin program is just another example of how search engines operate with their end user in mind, promoting websites that are legitimately important and relevant to a specific search query. They are actively trying to do eliminate the power of SEO tricks and other black hat techniques, while rewarding solid websites with top rankings.
This is why legal blogging is one of the most effective and safest ways to market your law firm online. By filling your website with legal content, you can target specific searches and work your way to the top of the rankings, without having to worry about search engines like Google changing the rules and pulling the rug out from beneath your marketing attempts.