Any SEO expert will tell you that attaining those high ranks and keeping the website constantly on top is a titanic task. In fact, the hard work that the white hat SEO requires made many good faith webmasters turn to black hat techniques when they kept pushing and pushing and the results still did not appear.
However, what those people fail to realize is that, even though they are large-scale, they are of poor quality as well as quickly identified and sieved by search engines. Moreover, given that nowadays major search engine giants, such as Google, have strict penalties for anyone trying to cheat in SEO, investing time and effort in the unorthodox techniques is a waste of time.
The algorithmic updates efficiency from a historic point of view
Before 2000, the preferred method of doing SEO was cloaking and for good reason. Essentially, webmasters could have had one page full of uninteresting or irrelevant information where they added the keywords according to a certain density and another especially well-built to appeal to the target audience. However, this technique did not last very long as soon enough Google introduced the concept of PageRank and hence, websites had to prove that they are worth their current ranking.
After the SEO market was hit by PageRank, another technique emerged, the reciprocal linking. The problem with this SEO method is that the strategy was mostly about scalability, while the relevance of the links was completely ignored. When the reciprocal link exchange could not be exploited anymore, the attention turned to one-way links and bought in bulks and used to climb the ranks over night. The age of the bought one-way links was brought to an end by the Google Panda update.
Panda – The beginning of the end
Remember the chaos created when the Panda update was introduced? It practically ravished all websites, including some of the reputable and much appreciated article directories. However, while some legitimate webmasters that have avoided mashing up databases managed to regain their strength fairly easy, the ones that were employing black hat SEO methods were severely impacted.
If you think about it, the fact that hard working SEO-ers did not suffer much of a blow is natural: they provided useful and unique content and had outreach and blogs to promote themselves. After all, the last thing that any user would like to see is a poorly created page from a database with insistent interlinking.
What conclusions can be drawn from here? Yes, there are always going to be bugs that black hat SEO practitioners will find and abuse. On the other hand, these SEO methods appear and disappear over night, as they are soon discovered and, so far, properly addressed by major search engines. However, even though the Panda rules have been applied for over 2 years now, there is still much work to do in order to ensure correct and well-deserved ratings. How does that affect you, the webmaster? The answer to this question depends on which side of the barricade you fight on.
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