Evidence that Spamming Google Improves Ranking

Normally I would be hesitant to write anything too negative about the big G, but I think they deserve it on this one.

Anyone who does search engine optimization is well aware that Google is NOT that fond of SEOs. Understandably so, as there are those out there that do whatever they think they have to in order to achieve 1st page rankings-keyword stuffing, link farms, forum spamming, cloaking, page scrapers, etc…..

That’s fine, Google. I have NO issues at all with that, in fact I’ve reported some who have done it.

But I DO have a problem with Google not being able to keep it’s OWN HOUSE CLEAN. Take a look at the search engine results below-just a cursory check to see who pops up for “tampa seo firm”. (yes, I know you can’t trust rankings anymore, blah blah…that’s not the point here.)

hmmm? a listing from groups.google?

hmmm? a listing from groups.google?

I know it’s hard to read – sorry- Lets take a closer look….

Wow. THIS beat out the dozens of other competing sites?

Wow. THIS beat out the dozens of other competing sites?

Interesting for sure, but not really a reason to get ticked off. Yet. Let’s see where it goes

THIS is a relevant search engine result? Cmon!

THIS is a relevant search engine result? Cmon!

…but wait-it gets even better! Check out their profile!

Of all the places to spam....

Of all the places to spam....

Oh yeah158 spam messages in 156 groups on groups.google – in one month. Apparently, this is a pretty common (and apparently effective) practice- I spent half an hour flipping around through different groups-packed with spam everywhere I went.

So here’s my REAL problem. Google wants to remove the value of anchor text pointing to our home page from other sites, even if it’s accurate and not overdone, they want to remove the value of links in forums and social sites. But we can SPAM THE HELL out of Google INSIDE their own house and get rewarded for it? Screw you Google.

Want more proof? Here’s another one for you-it took me all of about 2 seconds to find it.

Check out this link to the Search Engine Results for outsourcing SEO services- look who’s # 1.

Grabbed a snapshot just in case...

Grabbed a snapshot just in case...

..and let’s check google groups, shall we?

Well, what dya know...

Well, what dya know...

-pay close attention to the date. JUNE 2008. It’s not just an issue of Google not catching them yet-If I can find them in 5 minutes, why the heck can’t GOOGLE find them in 6 months?! Oh yeah, probably because they’re too busy going after LEGITIMATE SEO COMPANIES.

I found dozens more, some with a PR of 3+ that were engaged in this tactic.

Sorry for the rant, but it’s getting really, really old being told what you can’t do when the real jerks are walking away scott free.


The Value of Search Engine Optimization

It’s a question we get all the time.

How do I know optimizing my website for the search engines will be worth the price I’m paying you?

Until recently, I would have to explain about the data reporting features offered by analytics, reveal detailed case studies of sites we’ve SEO’d, present white papers on the subject, etc… But now, Aaron Wall of SEO Book has compiled a fantastic resource for all those who want numbers and stats. If you happen to be someone who likes to sit back, drink a big fat cup of coffee and read website stats, today is your lucky day! The piece is titled ” How Much Money is a Top Google Ranking Worth?”

The short answer- depends on what you’re selling.

If that doesn’t satisfy you, perhaps this will help- Aaron writes:

From my experience, depending on the commercial intent of the keyword, the number of advertisers appearing above the organic search results, and the user intent of a query you can multiply the Google Traffic Estimator numbers by about 4 to 7 to come up with traffic estimates that a #1 organic ranking would garner.

Well that’s fine and dandy to know if I were actually running a PPC campaign, you say. What is the difference in visitor traffic to my site between, say a # 9 or #10 spot compared to ranking #1 in Google?

Aaron answers that for us as well-

AOL’s Leaked Search Data

In August of 2006 AOL leaked millions of search records. Some SEOs scoured through this data to look at click data by ranking. A comment on Jim Boykin’s blog reveals the percent of clicks for each position for 9,038,794 searches and 4,926,623 clicks. Donna Fontenot shared the relative click volume of lower ranked results relative to the top ranked site.

Overall Percent of Clicks

Relative Click Volume

  1. 42.13%, 2,075,765 clicks
  2. 11.90%, 586,100 clicks
  3. 8.50%, 418,643 clicks
  4. 6.06%, 298,532 clicks
  5. 4.92%, 242,169 clicks
  6. 4.05%, 199,541 clicks
  7. 3.41%, 168,080 clicks
  8. 3.01%, 148,489 clicks
  9. 2.85%, 140,356 clicks
  10. 2.99%, 147,551 clicks
  1. 3.5x less
  2. 4.9x less
  3. 6.9x less
  4. 8.5x less
  5. 10.4x less
  6. 12.3x less
  7. 14.0x less
  8. 14.8x less
  9. 14.1x less
1st page totals: 89.82%, 4,425,226 clicks
2nd page totals: 10.18%, 501,397 clicks

Based on this data, if you are ranking 8, 9, or 10 you may be able to increase your traffic for that keyword 1,400% by ranking #1. Even jumping from #8 to #3 can triple your traffic.

Impressive, right?
Maybe it’s time you took a second look at SEO. Your competition certainly is.